After death debt adds up in funeral homes
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After death debt adds up in funeral homes

Date: September 11, 2012
By: Christine Roto
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: 
Funeral homes are dying from debt costs
RunTime:  0:52
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: For years, the National Prearrangements Services made phony insurance deals with customers setting up future funeral arrangements.

Funeral homes faced a decision to honor the contracts by covering the costs out of pocket, or to shut down.

Cape Girardeau funeral home owner Phil Dockins testified in front of the House Committee for Pre-Paid Funeral Trusts that his business struggled through the difficult time.

Actuality:  DOCKINS1.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "What's going on? What happened to us? Because we felt safe, we felt secure, and we gave those words to everyone that came in our establishment that your money and your funds were safe."

In 2008, legislators passed the Guarantee Fund to help funerals pay the debt.

Republican Belton Representative Casey Guernsey says the committee is trying to find an alternative way for funeral homes to take care of debt.

From the state capital, I'm Christine Roto.

Intro: 
A phony insurance scandal from years ago continues to kill funeral homes
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Missouri taxpayers are currently paying for funeral homes to stay alive through the Guarantee Fund. Years ago, funeral homes faced difficulty in deciding to pay the costs of contracts made between consumers and a phony insurance company, or shutting down.  

Bethany Representative Eric Burlison says they are discussing how funeral homes should pay for the debt.

Actuality:  BURL.WAV
Run Time:  00:13
Description: "They are trying to bring forward different financing solutions and so it's my position is to listen and see if there's any regulatory changes that we can make that does not affect taxpayer's pocketbooks."
 
And fellow Republican Representative Chris Molendrop says this is the first of many hearings to discuss further plans.
 
From the state capital, I'm Christine Roto.


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