Older Americans are increasingly feeling the hovering specter of foreclosure, after years of not suffering as acutely from the housing crisis, according to a new AARP report. While younger Americans still have a higher rate of serious delinquency, older Americans are now falling behind at a much faster rate, the AP explains. In the past five years, the proportion of loans held by people over age 50 that are seriously delinquent has jumped more than 450%.
More than 1.5 million older Americans have already lost their homes, about 600,000 are in foreclosure, and roughly 3.5 million—about 16% of all older homeowners—are underwater on their mortgage. The very old are being hit particularly hard: About one in 30 homeowners over the age of 75 are in foreclosure. What's more, many of the 50-plus crowd have no way to recover, having already spent their retirement savings. "The Great Recession has been brutal for many older Americans," says the AARP's policy chief. "This shows that homeownership doesn't guarantee financial security later in life."