Older homeowners facing foreclosure
The Kansas City Star
The bad economy has gut punched people age 50 and older, leaving many unemployed, working for less and facing a high rate of foreclosure, a new AARP report shows.
The report said about 600,000 people age 50 or older are in foreclosure. About 625,000 are at least three months behind on their mortgages and about 3.5 million, or 16 percent of older homeowners, owe more on their homes than the property is worth, The Associated Press reported from the AARP study.
Fixed incomes, high unemployment and underemployment are to blame for people 50 years old and up being in trouble on their homes. The report said that 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes with millions more at risk.
Older minorities face foreclosure rates double those of white borrowers. Also homeowners 75 or older in 2007 were facing foreclosure at a rate of one out of every 300 homeowners. This year the rate is one in 30.
The tragedy is that not only are the older people losing their homes but so are entire families because the loss eliminates the possibility of the property being handed down to other family members. The homes then can’t serve as a way for families to build equity and wealth, which further cripples individuals and any possible recovery from the bad economy.