Seniors are Facing Foreclosure at Increasing Rates
Written by Emil Fleysher | July 31, 2012 | Foreclosure
For the first time, the nation received evidence through an AARP report of how the real estate crash is affecting its senior citizens. While older homeowners still have lower foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates then people under the age of 50, they are increasing.
AARP’s findings include:
- About 5.7 percent of homeowners age 65 and older were in foreclosure in 2011, up from 0.58 percent in 2007.
- More than 5 percent of homeowners 65 and older were 90 days or more late on mortgage payments in 2011, up from 1.28 percent in 2007.
- A quarter of subprime loans of borrowers age 50 or older were 90 days or more late on payments or in foreclosure as of December 2011.
Traditionally, home ownership has been a safety net in retirement. Equity that built up over decades could be tapped for medical bills, supplement fixed incomes or help transition into an assisted living facility. But older Americans weren’t immune to the real estate boom and bust. They took out second mortgages when property values skyrocketed, sold their homes for hefty prices and purchased investment properties that floundered. As of December 2011, about 3.5 million loans of people age 50 and older nationwide were underwater, meaning they have no equity. About 600,000 loans in the same age group were in foreclosure. AARP plans to release mortgage data specific to Florida by the end of the year. It will likely reflect the increasing foreclosure and delinquency rates seen in the national measure.
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