The only generation alive that might remember the Great Depression is now more frequently than ever being swept up in the Great Recession – victims of a widespread foreclosure crisis that does not discriminate.
A new study by the AARP indicates that more than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 50 lost their homes due to foreclosure in the years between 2007 and 2011.
Miami foreclosure defense attorneys know that senior citizens are sometimes more likely than younger homeowners to struggle to keep their homes. There is often a sense of pride, a desire to maintain the familiar and a determination not to fail.
And there is nothing wrong with wanting to try to keep your home – and the truth is, it is often possible and workable. The problem is, the autonomy for which their generation is known and admired is working against them because they fail to seek experienced legal help.
Of those older homeowners who are falling victim, those who have been hit hardest, according to the AARP study, are over the age of 75.
This is a subset of our population that has historically been viewed as one of the most financially stable groups across the board. That’s changing.
The report indicated that while people who are younger than 50 are the most likely age group to face foreclosure, older Americans are the fastest-growing group.
In fact, foreclosures for those over age 75 increased eightfold during the study period. The truth of the matter is, these individuals are holding more mortgage debt than they ever have before. Right now, today, at least three million Americans over age 75 are at imminent risk of losing their homes, and even more are battling just to keep their heads above water financially.
In your Golden Years, this is the last thing you should have to worry about. Miami foreclosure lawyers can help.
AARP’s study was based on loan data from across the country, but we know that Florida has been particularly hard-hit in the housing crisis and we have a higher population of older residents than most other states.
There is one key difference, however in foreclosures for older folks versus those in the younger age group, and that is the reason behind it.
While most of those younger underwater homeowners are being foreclosed upon due to subprime, or predatory mortgages, older Americans are generally struggling more due to spiking costs for medical care, falling property values and pension cuts. Additionally, they aren’t saving enough money, and the economy has a lot to do with that. The Federal Reserve has indicated that about 50 percent of those between the ages of 65 and 74 don’t have any money in their retirement accounts.
Credit counselors have reported that the average age of those who call seeking assistance has inched up from 43 to 49.
One example cited in the New York Times detailed a 69-year-old Fort Lauderdale woman who, after losing her job as a real estate agent, subsists on Social Security checks of $1,200 a month – not nearly enough to keep up with the mortgage payments. Her home is now in foreclosure, and with no nearby family members, she’s unsure where she’ll live – or how she’ll bounce back without a job.
The truth of the matter is, a number of older homeowners have been able to eek out a negotiation with the bank in order to stay in their homes. However, those outcomes were the result of long, protracted battles, and when you don’t have an experienced foreclosure attorney at your side, those results don’t always reflect the most favorable possible outcome.
We can help.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
Facing Foreclosure After 50, By ROBBIE BROWN, The New York Times