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More older homeowners facing foreclosure

Four months ago, after losing her job as a real estate agent, a 69-year-old woman's three-bedroom Orlando apartment went into foreclosure. With no family in Florida, now she lives in constant fear of winding up on the streets with nowhere to go.

Sadly, the woman is part of a growing demographic of older Americans whose homes are going into foreclosure. At this point, there have been half a million homeowners age 50 or older who have lost their homes.

Debra Whitman, who is the AARP's executive vice president for policy, said while older Americans used to be considered more secure, now with rising medical costs, cuts to pensions, a decrease in property values and an overall decrease in stock portfolios, many who were once financially stable have found themselves facing the threat of foreclosure.

In the case of the 69-year-old Orlando woman, for now her only source of income is Social Security payments. Due to her age she said it's harder to find a job, especially because her most recent experience is in real estate where the market has since collapsed.

This real estate market collapse has in turn also resulted in it becoming even harder to sell a home since the value has significantly decreased.

And while this woman is 69 years old, the foreclosure rate grew the most among those age 75 and older. In fact, from 2007 to 2011 this demographic saw an eightfold increase in the foreclosure rate.

Regardless of age, whether a person is 30 or 80 years old, the possibility of foreclosure can be a scary and confusing, which is why it's important to make sure that there is someone there to explain the process and any options that may be available.

Our firm handles debt relief options for those homeowners possibly facing foreclosure. To learn more about how our practice, visit our Florida foreclosure page.

Source: New York Times, "Facing Foreclosure After 50," Robbie Brown, July 19, 2012

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