Regina Morrison Newman, Shelby County Trustee, in partnership with non-profit service provider the RISE Foundation, announced today that the clients of Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center (GMFEC) have reduced their debt by over $1,000,000. The GMFEC opened its doors a little over two years ago.
The GMFEC provides free, professional one-on-one financial counseling as a service to any County resident. It has now served over 800 clients and those clients have jointly reduced their non-mortgage debt by over $1,000,000 as of the end of July. Clients are entitled to receive counseling as long as they need it. These milestones are especially meaningful as the GMFEC counselors have been operating fully remotely for the last 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am thrilled with the success clients have been able to achieve through counseling with the GMFEC! To see that amount of debt reduced in the face of the pandemic speaks to their hard work to improve their financial footing.” - Regina Morrison Newman, Shelby County Trustee
The GMFEC is an integral part of Shelby County’s efforts to support individuals on their pathway out of any financial hardship that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, and toward financial stability.
“COVID-19 has underscored the critical importance of professional one-on-one financial counseling to help residents manage the financial impact of the pandemic,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “We are thrilled to partner with Shelby County and Trustee Newman on the GMFEC, and applaud the work they’ve done over the past two years and during the pandemic to build residents’ financial stability.”
First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, FECs across the country have worked with over 123,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by more than $171 million, and increasing their families’ savings by more than $30 million. In addition, a CFE Fund evaluation showed that this program works even for residents with very low incomes and other complex financial challenges. Shelby County is one of more than two dozen cities and counties across the Country that have either launched or are working to launch local FECs. To schedule an appointment with the GMFEC, visit https://fecpublic.org/appointment-greatermemphis or call (901) 390-4200.
About the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center
The GMFEC offers free, one-on-one professional financial counseling to all Shelby County residents.
Certified financial counselors are available for personalized guidance and can help you deal with a wide range of personal financial issues including budgeting, debt reduction, credit improvement and increasing savings. Services are always free and available to all Shelby County residents regardless of income. For more information, please visit www.gmfec.org or find us on Facebook (Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center). The GMFEC is essentially grant and donation funded, with initial funds from the CFE Fund, and is sponsored by Shelby County Trustee, Regina Morrison Newman.
About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders in over 100 cities to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.
About the Shelby County Trustee’s Office
The Shelby County Trustee collects County property taxes and handles delinquent property tax collections for all municipalities in Shelby County. By law, the Trustee is the banker for Shelby County Government. In addition, the Trustee coordinates banking services for approximately fifteen different county offices, including various elected officials and the Shelby County Board of Education. The Shelby County Trustee’s duties include maximizing interest earnings and streamlining banking costs. The Trustee offers a number of community outreach programs including Tax Freeze, Tax Relief, Quarterly Tax Payments, Project HOME, Bank On Memphis, On My Own Financial Simulation and the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center. For more information, please visit www.shelbycountytrustee.com.