A mortgage crunch and tightening credit affecting possibly millions underscore the importance of the “Money Matter$: 2007 Consumer Issues Conference” Sept. 26-27 in the Wyoming Union on the University of Wyoming campus.
“The movie ‘Maxed Out’ released in March, which will be shown as part of the conference, may have been ahead of its time,” said Dee Pridgen, a professor in the UW College of Law and one of the conference planners. “The message is that overuse of credit by consumers for both credit cards and subprime mortgages may cause a crisis. Well, that seems to be happening now.”
The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Arts & Sciences Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and is free and open to the public.
Writer/director/producer James Scurlock will be at the film’s showing and is also a presenter at the conference.
Recognized experts on personal finance, credit and financial safety will be at the conference.
“Many Wyoming families are struggling because of fees and charges on their credit cards, high interest on payday loans, mortgage problems and information privacy issues,” said Wyoming First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, who is also an attorney.
“Consumers across the region can learn how to protect themselves and their families and learn how to influence changes in public policy by attending this conference.”
Pridgen said the conference will provide invaluable information on credit cards, credit scores, bankruptcy, debt collection and ID theft, investment and retirement, among other issues.
“Not only will the conference address how consumers can protect themselves, but the speakers and participants will examine whether policy changes are needed to protect consumers and curb abuses in the consumer credit industry,” said Pridgen. “The current subprime mortgage crisis illustrates the dire need for this type of information and discussion.”
The conference features sessions at a variety of levels, she said. Adults, youths, senior citizens, professionals and policy makers are welcome. Professional credits are available.
A full day of workshops Thursday at the Wyoming Union starts with UW President Tom Buchanan and conference committee co-chairs Pridgen and Virginia Vincenti providing the welcome. Vincenti is a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the UW College of Agriculture.
Keynote speakers include Jeanne Hogarth and Nancy Smith. Hogarth is manager for the Consumer Education and Research Section of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board. Smith is vice president of investment services at AARP Financial.
Concurrent sessions are presented in three separate time slots. Each session has a different speaker with a different topic.
Full program and conference information is available at the conference Web site www.uwyo.edu/consumerconference. Early registration ends Sept. 13. General registration costs $45; seniors are $35, and students are free.
Contact: Steven L. Miller, Senior Editor
Phone: (307) 766-6342
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