Seniors Over 50 Remain An Overlooked Segment In The Distressed Homeowner Market
One of the biggest misconceptions about the continuing foreclosure crises is that most of the media, investors, servicers and politicians think that the only ones being affected by the continuing distressed property scenarios are the people who purchased homes at the height of the market and now cannot afford to sustain their current mortgage situation.
Unbeknownst to a majority of the powers that be, many of the lesser known distressed homeowners purchased a home 20 or more years ago, have fixed incomes and have little assistance. Seniors over 50 remain a largely overlooked segment in the distressed homeowner market.
We’ve seen first hand situation where parents get into trouble with their home after attempting to help their family or worse being taken advantage by their own kin. One Bayview homeowner had her home paid off, but then she took out a home equity line of credit to help her children buy a home during the peak market. Not only did the kids end up losing the house to foreclosure but the mother eventually lost her home as well.
Another homeowner down in Watsonville fell victim to his own family taking money out of his home without his consent. Fortunately he connected with a real estate agent who managed to short sale his home and get him hardship relocation money through the HAFA program.
AARP Report Shows Growing Concern For Underwater Homeowners Over 50
A July report from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), pinpointed that seniors over 50 make up the fastest growing sector of owners facing foreclosure. The report, “Nightmare on Main Street: Older Americans and the Mortgage Market Crisis,” concluded that since December 2011, 3.5 million people aged 50+ remain underwater – in other words their home value is worth less than their loan amount. Consider that nearly 600,000 currently find themselves in foreclosure, and another 625,000 have delinquent loans. From 2007 to 2011, more than 1.5 million older Americans lost their homes.
Even more disturbing remains the fact that the report disclosed that African Americans and Latinos over 50 face the highest foreclosure rates, at 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. These numbers represent a huge gap compared to only 1.9 for older whites.
Unfortunately, many of the seniors fall into the foreclosure trap because they take money from their home to pay for medical expenses, home repair or often to help their family.
For a great profile of a local 92 year old Visitacion Valley resident fighting back against foreclosure see this story link.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia