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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "debt" ...

  • Debt-uty crisis

    The four-day series detailed the controversial origins of the Knox County Sheriff's Office Pension Plan -- called the Uniformed Officers Pension Plan, UOPP -- and the ramifications its approval had on county finances. The series looked at how the plan was sold to the public on lies and bad information.
  • Cars for Congress

    At the height of the debt ceiling debate, the investigative team at WTTG pulled video from floor debates, news conferences and other sources to show how the very people demanding the nation make sacrifices by cutting the budget were the ones taking advantage of a Congressional loophole--allowing Congress to use government money to buy luxury cars.
  • Debt Settlement/Abusive Debt Collection

    Debt settlement company complaints are on the rise. The story shows how one family in Minnesota turned to a debt settlement company for help and ended up with increased debt as a result.
  • "Hounded:Debtors and the new breed of collectors"

    In this series, reporters Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt reveal how debt collection has become a "profitable industry." In additional to missteps taken by collection agencies, this series also reveals how people are being arrested for failing to pay bills. Their bail has often been set at the exact amount of the debt that they owe.
  • Gambling on Growth

    For years, St. Cloud-area cities have used public financing to pay upfront for improving roads and extending water and sewer utilities to new housing developments. Developers were supposed to pay off the debt through assessments, but many are falling behind on payments, leaving cities to bear the cost.
  • Scam-At-Home

    A number of online scams are offering work at home opportunities to consumers. In this economic recession, many people are looking for ways to make money and these scams seem to be the perfect way. Some of the major scams are mystery shopping, stuffing envelopes, and rebate processing. The investigation into this story discovered these scams among the many and along the way found the scammers who were running these operations.
  • The rise and fall of Denny Hecker

    Denny Hecker is one of the” biggest, most well-known businessmen in the Twin Cities”. He owned car dealerships, a national car rental company, and was the star of many advertisements. Behind this perfect exterior is a story of criminal behaviors and massive debt. All these details were revealed after Hecker filed for personal bankruptcy, which began the “collapse of a massive empire”.
  • Pension Bonanza

    The state of Illinois is in a large amount of debt due to its pension plan, which is causing services to be eliminated. The pension plan has allowed some government retirees to become millionaires and others earning “at least $100,000 a year”. This is one of the reasons the state is in large debt and the fact the pension plan is costing “more than $800 million a month”.
  • Risky Business

    The investigation revealed “how a school district’s use of risky “swaps” - derivatives that are bets on interest rate swings - caused huge losses and higher taxes for the district”. These “swaps”, given by financial advisors and investment banks, brought in millions of fees for them and left the school district in debt. Further, the school and adviser failed to terminate two swaps, which cost taxpayers millions more.
  • Inside the Financial Fiasco

    In this series, it describes the underlying causes of the economic crisis. At the center of the problem were "stated-income loans, mortgages where the lenders never bothered to verify borrowers' incomes". Another cause to the crisis is the country's extraordinary amount of consumer debt. Also, now that we are in tough economic times scams are put together to target those in financial trouble and scamming them out of more money.