Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "bankruptcy" ...

  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • ProPublica Illinois: Driven Into Debt

    This series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • Freelance: Abandoning American coal mines

    Since reaching a historical high in 2008, U.S. coal production plummeted by a third in the ensuing decade. Companies accounting for nearly half the coal dug across the country declared for bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016, and President Donald Trump’s rhetorical ending of the “war on coal” has shown no meaningful signs of reviving the industry. With the writing on the wall for U.S. coal, I investigated the system meant to guarantee that funds are available to pay for environmental cleanup. I built first-of-their-kind databases to determine how much money was in this system, where it was held and other trends in the industry such as levels of oversight and types of post-mining land uses. A combination of data analysis and ground-level reporting from around the country resulted in stories that showed myriad issues in protecting cleanup funds, which result in scarred land and polluted air and water.
  • The Swoosh Effect

    Our investigation exposed the insidious role of sneaker money in amateur basketball, offering new and damning examples of how companies such as Nike corrupt youth sports. Our reporting found that: Nike helped the family of Marvin Bagley III, a top-ranked recruit, move from bankruptcy into a gated community; Nike offered special perks to the star of its Portland grassroots team; Nike strategically offered apparel contracts to nearly all big Oregon high schools, costing the company $1 million annually; and the NCAA weakened rules for tracking shoe money in order to minimize transparency.
  • Detroit's Foreclosure Meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs. http://www.detroitnews.com/topic/046a3a7c-ed6d-4afb-876a-d7800dd4a513/detroits-foreclosure-meltdown/
  • Grave Concerns

    A financially struggling cemetery went bankrupt and changed hands after foreclosure. Both sides disagreed about who was in charge of honoring existing contracts, which left families in the middle. It became such an issue for some families that they chose to bury their loved ones at other cemeteries, even though their family members previously paid for their final arrangements. Others had to pay twice to bury their loved ones and some had to wait months for the cemetery to place grave markers. With the help of our reporting and the State of Tennessee this was resolved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3bXSYFj8MQ&feature=youtu.be
  • Destroying the Center for Building Hope

    Members of the board of directors of a Sarasota cancer charity went out of their way to hire a businessman with a history of self dealing, bankruptcy and failed business ventures to head up their organization and find novel ways of raising money during the Great Recession. The results were predictable. Carl Ritter put his interests ahead of cancer patients and their families and the Center of Building Hope was forced to shut down three months after Jessica Floum’s initial story.
  • Detroit's foreclosure meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs.
  • Pension Crisis

    Jacksonville’s Police and Fire Pension Fund is in crisis. The fund has about 43 cents available for every dollar promised to its retired police officers and fire fighters. Now $2.88 billion, the multiplying city debt is threatening the city’s financial stability. Bond ratings have been downgraded. City projects have been scuttled. Bankruptcy is feared. The recent recession isn’t the only thing that crippled the fund. Deals done in secret, deals hidden for more than a decade and sweetheart deals that allowed a select few to skirt regulations and retire from public service jobs with hundreds of thousands of extra dollars they weren’t entitled to are also to blame.
  • Failure to Recall: Investigating GM

    In this hour-long documentary CNBC investigated a deepening crisis at one of America's most iconic companies. Following the dark days of bankruptcy, General Motors fought its way back to health only to confront evidence of a deadly manufacturing defect and accusations of a corporate cover-up. After linking thirteen deaths and 31 accidents to a faulty ignition switch, the company recalled some 2.6 million cars. But as GM undertook the massive recall, questions mounted over why it hadn't acted sooner to inform the public about the flawed part.