Baby Boomers Face Growing Mortgage Debt

September 11, 2012

More baby boomers—those aged 50 and up—are carrying more mortgage debt than they ever have before, and at a time when they’re approaching retirement, according to a new AARP study. 

The rise in the number of older Americans from 2007 to 2011 who are severely delinquent on their mortgages has even outpaced that of younger home owners, according to the study. 

About 3.5 million mortgages of baby boomers are underwater, which means they owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. What’s more, more than 1.5 million older Americans lost their homes to foreclosure from 2007 to 2011. 

“As the mortgage crisis continues, millions of older Americans are struggling to maintain their financial security,” according to the AARP report.

Older Americans also have to contend with lower wages, rising property taxes, and fixed incomes that are making their mortgage struggles even greater. Many older Americans who are carrying greater mortgage debt longer also had taken out home equity lines of credit in order to finance their retirement or other needs.

Source: “Mortgage Debt, Job Woes Darken Boomers’ Futures,” Kansas City Star (Sept. 9, 2012)

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