Josh Borba, Senior Reverse Mortgage Advisor
Foreclosure filings were reported on 2.3 million U.S. properties in 2008, an increase of 81 percent from 2007 and up 225 percent from 2006, according to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released January 15, 2009. The soaring number of foreclosures have sent ripples through the housing and banking industry with the affects being felt by millions.
According to RealtyTrac, California, Florida, Arizona posted the highest 2008 foreclosure totals. A total of 523,624 California properties received a foreclosure filing in 2008, the nation’s highest state total. Foreclosure activity in the state increased nearly 110 percent from 2007 and nearly 498 percent from 2006. With 385,309 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in 2008, Florida documented the second highest state total. Florida foreclosure activity increased 133 percent from 2007 and nearly 412 percent from 2006. Arizona’s 2008 total of 116,911 properties receiving a foreclosure filing was third highest among the states. Foreclosure activity in Arizona increased 203 percent from 2007 and 655 percent from 2006. Other states with Top 10 totals for 2008 were Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Nevada and New Jersey.
With mounting job losses and a weakening economy, forclosures and mortgage delinquencies are expected to continue to rise. The nation’s unemployment rate shot up at the end of the year, reaching 7.2 percent in December — its highest level since early 1993, according to a Labor Department report release January 9, 2009. That puts U.S. job losses at 2.6 million for 2008.
However, with all this doom and gloom in the housing market, there is a glimmer of hope for senior homeowners 62 years of age and older. That hope comes in the form of a HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or Reverse Mortgage. Those who have obtained a reverse mortgage need not be concerned with the increasing forclosure rates and whether or not they can make their mortgage payments. With a HECM reverse mortgage, there are no monthly payments required.
Borrowers remain in their homes for life and never have to worry about making a mortgage payment again. All they need to do is keep the property in good repair, pay their property taxes and keep their homeowners insurance current and paid.
For seniors who currently do not have a reverse mortgage, now may be the time to explore the option. It does not matter if a senior is currently late on their mortgage. They may still qualify for a reverse mortgage. To qualify all borrowers on title must be 62 years or older, occupy the property as their primary residence and not currently be in a bankruptcy. That’s it!
MLS Reverse Mortgage has helped save several seniors who were months away from losing their homes.
So, in these tough economic times, there is still hope for seniors looking for mortgage payment relief or cash out to enjoy life’s pleasures.