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Older homeowners in trouble

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

More Americans older than 50 have mortgages than in the past two decades and for larger amounts, causing a growing number to be at risk for foreclosure.

A report from the AARP says 3.5 million homeowners older than 50 are in danger of losing their homes. Most won't have the time or resources to recover from such a financial setback as they head toward retirement. Since 2007, more than 1.5 million homeowners in this group have already had their homes foreclosed, raising the foreclosure rate from 0.3 percent in 2007 to 2.9 percent in 2011.

Older homeowners were enticed by the same initially low rates on subprime mortgages as everyone else. As the values of their homes decreased and the rates increased, many found they owed more than their homes are worth.

There is help for distressed homeowners. Free advice from a counselor approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development can steer homeowners toward ways to reduce monthly expenses.  It might be worth it to try to get a loan modification to reduce your monthly mortgage payment or see if you qualify for the government Home Affordable Refinance Program to refinance at a lower rate. Those older than 62 and with equity in their homes could consider a reverse mortgage. As a final option for avoiding foreclosure, a short sale through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives government program allows the homeowner to walk away from the home and the mortgage debt.

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63 Comments
JohnnyBeCool
August 08, 2012 at 6:16 pm

My wife and I have a loan through Citi Bank and we tried three times to get refinancing on our underwater home loan going through "Making Homes Affordable" and struck out all three times.

Three months ago we tried again through a local finance company using the "Home Affordable Refinance Program"

It didn't cost us but about $200.00 maximum, It too less than 6 weeks from start to finish. Our house payment was approx. $2300.
and is now approx. $1650 a savings of over $500.00. This program works and I didn't think I had a chance to qualify.

To qualify you must be employed, not be behind or missed a house payment, have a good credit rating and be able to prove all the above.

Hope this is helpful......

Johnny Be Cool.....

JAM
August 08, 2012 at 6:13 pm

LOST JOB IN 2010, HAVEN'T FOUND WORK YET. HUSBAND IS WORKING.
$110,000.00 UNDER WATER IN MORTGAGE. TRYED TO MODIFY MORTGAGE WITH WELLS FARGO FOR ALMOST A YEAR. THEY CAME BACK WITH A FIGURE OF ABOUT 3 QUARTERS OF OUR NET INCOME. WE SAID IT WAS TO MUCH. STOPPED PAYING, COULD NOT AFFORD FULL AMOUNT OF MORTGAGE. WE ARE IN ACTIVE FORECLOSURE BUT, THROUGH A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE MODIFICATION PROCESS AGAIN. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, WE WILL BE PURSUING THE MEDIATION PROCESS.

Vickie
August 08, 2012 at 5:51 pm

If you are doing a loan modification, work directly with your bank. They do not charge a fee. If your bank's mortgage department refuses to work with you, contact the Attorney General of your state. They have people that will write letters on your behalf, with no charge. You can also write to the president of the bank if the the mortgage department refuses to work with you. The banks do not want any more bad publicity.

Jon
August 08, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Wells Fargo requires you to give them all your financial information and 2 yrs of tax returns. They then inform you that your credit score will drop just for applying. After paying a fixed number for 6 months, then you might qualify for their program! Nothing is ever mentioned about percentages or what they will actually offer you if you are accepted! These programs are a red tape/time consuming farse! You are never given a straight answer when you ask what can they offer for a lower percentage! The bigest crock of BS I've been thru!

kevin
August 08, 2012 at 5:45 pm

DO NOT VOTE FOR MITT THE TWIT ROMNEY!!! HE WILL ELIMINATE THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!

rick
August 08, 2012 at 5:32 pm

The problem with loan modification is they ask for $3000 in advance. Then they tell you not to make any payments to the bank so the banks can think you are having a hard time. But I didn't want to fork $3000 and then lose it. I told them you write a contract that you will get me the modification first with a lower interest rate and I will gladly give you the $3000 after the process is done. No way jose. So I didn't go with it

Maggie
August 08, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Absolutely Dougg!! Well said!!

Todd M
August 08, 2012 at 5:23 pm

My mom is in this boat, Alltel messed my mom and thousands of other Seniors over, they bought my moms company then they sold off the land lines to Windstream Communications. After the merger, windstream determined that the employees of alltel were told their benefits were way out of line. So Windstream gutted the retireees accounts.

The end result is that next year retirees who retired with benefits will have all of their benefit removed. Some district court judge ruled in the favor of the big bad company. Mom wen from 45K in Life insurance to 4K becasue Windstream determined that is all a dead employee was worth.

Well due to the actions of the my moms former firm, she in unable to pay her medical bills and a mortgage. Mom had to go back to work to make ends meet, the BOA refused to help her out, she tried to make partial payments but was refused.

Now she is facing foreclosure, so it was not the case of her getting hoodwinked. She got messed over by her former company, for whom she worked for 43 years.

Carolyn Johnson
August 08, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I received package for modification and foreclosure. The reason I stopped send my payment was because I asked Ms. Markisa Newman on Feb. 6, 2012, if I was to continue to send my payments to you of $681.00 which I was sending until she told me over the telephone that I should put it aside and wait for the Citimortgage to make a decision on my modification. That’s what I did. We the people of USA we have bailed you out but when any of us ask you to help us out, you take us through a lot of changes and load us down with all kinds of paperwork and red tape. Why can’t you approve our modification without putting us through all kinds of changes?

I am cc a copy to Seven on Your Side asking them to looking in why the banks are taking so long to help the people who need help.

DOUGG
August 08, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Vote for Romney you idiots!