South Florida Foreclosure Watch: Baby Boomers Hit Hard by Recession as Retirement Nears

Baby boomers are members of the larger-than-average generation, having been part of the “baby boom” that took place between 1946 and 1964. together.jpg

Miami foreclosure lawyers know that everything about this generation has been big: Big dreams, big careers, big cars, big homes – all of which made for a big disaster when the housing bubble burst.

In fact, baby boomers were among those who have suffered the most in terms of loss of home equity, savings and retirement as a result of this recession. Although the recession is officially over, the repercussions are not. Many are still battling high mortgage rates and principals that don’t reflect their home’s actual value. Plus, they are looking at a reduced income and depleted savings accounts.

This has left them with less of a safety net than anticipated even as they begin hitting the doors to retirement. As a result, many are falling below the poverty line, struggling to stay afloat during a time in their lives when they should be enjoying the fruits of their many years of hard work.

A recent study by the AARP found that those over the age of 50 – especially those over the age of 75 – are facing foreclosure at a much higher rate than those in younger generations. They were more likely to have invested in a home or other property at the height of the bubble – only to see the value crumble.

The good news is there are avenues for relief (such as loan modifications) and your foreclosure defense attorney can help you find them.

A recent survey conducted by You Walk Away, a foreclosure analysis survey, discovered that among baby boomers:

  • Almost 50 percent said they had used a large portion or all of their savings before they made the decision to walk away from their homes;
  • Almost 70 percent said they were compelled to walk away because their property was not worth nearly what they owed;
  • More than 50 percent who stayed said they would have walked away if they were 20 years younger;
  • About 30 percent said their impending retirement was a factor in their decision to leave their homes;
  • About a quarter said they tapped into their retirement accounts in order to help cover the difference on their mortgage payments – a mistake that’s haunting them now.
  • Two-thirds said they struggled with whether walking away was the right thing to do.

These are some troubling results, but what is important to know is that walking away isn’t your only option if you can no longer afford your mortgage. A foreclosure defense attorney can help you negotiate a principal reduction on your loan that can make your payments manageable.

There are also avenues provided by the Making Home Affordable Program that can help you. If loan modifications aren’t an option, you may be able to apply for up to $3,000 in relocation assistance while your home goes through the short sale process. If you are unemployed or deeply underwater on your home, there are the Home Affordable Unemployment Program or the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets. With these you may apply for a forbearance on your payments or mortgage assistance.

There are more alternatives, and Miami foreclosure attorneys can help you explore all of your options.

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.

Additional Resources:
Baby Boomers and Strategic Defaults – a Demographic Study: Why Did People Walk Away? Did They Struggle With Morality? Would they Recommend Walking Away to Others? By Mike “Mish” Shedlock, Global Economic Analysis Blog

More Blog Entries:
Underwater Homeowners Aren’t to Blame for their Miami Foreclosure, July 23, 2012, Miami Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Blog