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 "loans" ...

  • New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

    New Jersey’s student loan agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, has some of the most aggressive collection tactics in the industry with few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. ProPublica’s series lays out how HESAA’s loans have unraveled lives – sending many families into financial ruin – to the point they’ve been described as “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”
  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    America’s student loan system was created in the 1960s as part of an effort to alleviate poverty and inequality. But by 2016, some 42 million Americans owed an astonishing $1.3 trillion on their student loans, and the debt load had doubled in eight years. How did a program intended to help deserving students go to college become a profit center for Wall Street, private investors, even the government? We sought to document how the nation’s student loan crisis unfolded – and who has profited from it.
  • Degree of Debt

    “Degree of Debt” is a multi-state investigation by Raycom Media that exposes one of the most crippling impacts on the U.S. economy, the virtual explosion of student debt. The numbers are staggering. Over 41 million students owe a collective $1.4 trillion; a figure that dwarfs credit card and auto loan debt combined. Of that $41 million in debt, nearly 8.1 million of those people are currently in default. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next decade the federal government will make $81 billion in profit from student loans, over $8 billion a year. The Raycom investigative series used several federal databases along with shoe leather reporting to educate our viewers/readers on the biggest offenders and what needs to change. http://www.vimeo.com/leezurik/IREDegreeofDebt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y09_yQ9Bwo&feature=youtu.be
  • The Mobile-Home Trap

    Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a business empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable homes, but all too often unsuspecting families, particularly those of color, find themselves locked into ruinous high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating dwellings. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/the-mobile-home-trap-how-a-warren-buffett-empire-preys-on-the-poor/
  • Bank got caught in 'death spiral'

    This story looks at decisions that led to the Bank of Clark County's failure, and determines that the mistakes were twofold, and in the end each made the other worse. By ignoring its own guidelines, the bank issued loans to borrowers who later could not pay them back. By using risky deposits to fund these loans, it created a trap it could not escape.
  • 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.
  • The Lost Bank

    "The Lost Bank" deals with the issue of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and how the bank failed to prevent an economic recession.
  • Fixed Fortunes

    In the era of billion-dollar presidential campaigns and political groups that can raise donations in unlimited amounts from almost any source, we are used to reading stories about the large amounts of money that special interests invest in politics. But what do they get out of the government they spend so much trying to influence by supporting political campaigns and parties or hiring well-connected lobbyists? Bill Allison and Sarah Harkins set out to answer that question, compiling huge amounts of data from multiple federal sources, identifying the biggest corporate political donors over a six year period, and then compiling numbers on the various federal support -- contracts, grants, loans, loan guarantees and various programs adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis -- to attempt to show what the biggest donors get from the federal government.
  • Payday Nation

    A new money­making venture is on the rise among American Indian tribes, especially in isolated parts of the country: online payday lending. About 3 million Americans take out an online payday loan every year. These are small loans with extremely high interest rates—typically 400% annually—and borrowers are mainly those who can’t get loans elsewhere because of bad credit histories. Many states have outlawed or limited the practice, citing exorbitant interest rates and often deceptive contracts.
  • The Costs and Benefits of an Elite College Chess Team

    Did Webster University pay $1 million to bring an elite chess team from Texas Tech? The university declined to address that question, but documents obtained under Texas open records law reveal the stipulations the controversial chess coach was seeking prior to her departure from Texas Tech. After failing to negotiate her terms into a new Texas Tech contract, Polgar moved her program to Webster University. Amid back-to-back budget shortfalls, some questioned the administration’s investment in an elite chess team. Webster derives 97 percent of its revenue from tuition payments, much of which is taxpayer-funded student loans and grants.