Foreclosures hit elderly hard

The housing crisis is coming down hard on older Americans, the Associated Press reported, citing data from a new AARP study. According to AARP, roughly 600,000 individuals over the age of 50 are currently in foreclosure, 625,000 people in the same age bracket are at least three months behind on mortgage payments and a total of 3.5 million are now underwater on their mortgages.

In a surprising development, the proportion of loans considered to be seriously delinquent spiked by 450 percent. Though the over-50 crowd generally has a lower rate of serious delinquency, it is increasing faster in the older population than it is in the younger one, the AP reported.

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The problem has proved worse for minority populations. Whereas 1.9 percent of whites in the age group had homes in foreclosure, 3.5 percent of African-Americans in this age group had homes in foreclosure at the end of last year. The proportion came in at 4.9 percent for the over-50 Hispanic population.

The study also found that those over the age of 75 are in rough shape in regards to foreclosure. Five years ago, one of every 300 homeowners in this age group were in foreclosure. Now, one in 30 are in foreclosure. [AP via CNBC] – Zachary Kussin