In the previous five years, the housing market in the United States has undergone a slump, to put it mildly. This has led to hardship for many citizens. But, those who are classified as baby boomers who have spent their lives working and paying their mortgages have been among those most affected by the five year downhill trend.
There are 600,000 homeowners in that peer group who are already in foreclosure. Another 600,000 or so are three or more months late on paying their mortgages. Another 3.5 million in this age group, fifty or older, now owe more to the bank than their home could bring on the current real estate market.
Depreciation in the value of these homes adds to the increased burden on the cost of necessities. Taxes, fuel, electric power and food prices continue to skyrocket, making it hard for the homeowner to keep up with all the expenses of daily life.
Due to the job market, salaries are lower and there have been few cost of living raises. In fact, employees have been making salary concessions to keep their jobs. If the economy had not undergone a recession, retired people could manage on a fixed income. The last five years have changed the picture for them. They cannot even hope to sell their houses in most cases.
The retiree planning to move to a warmer climate is stuck because of being unable to sell the home in their current location. The golden years are losing their shine for them. As they age while remaining in the house they cannot sell, the situation grows worse for them. Some may need to relocate for health reasons, but it is impossible.
At that time the high cost of health care also works against their maintaining financial security. Some may be able to get the home refinanced. But, those with second mortgages used to pay for college expenses for their children do not have that option.
There is a Harp program that helps homeowners who are underwater. But, it can help only the homeowners who have made all their mortgage payments. They can apply for refinancing. Another possibility is talking with the bank directly to see what can be done. If their bank has foreclosed on a high number of homes, they may be willing to make concessions to avoid another loss due to the repressed housing market.