05-21-2018  7:44 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Paul Kleyman New America Media

WASINGTON, D.C.— The mortgage crisis has slammed every age group—especially the oldest Americans 75-plus—and has hit Latino and African American seniors and their families the hardest, according to a study being released today by AARP.

About 1.5 million people ages 50 or older lost their homes to foreclosure from 2007 to 2011, and another 3.5 million aging boomers and seniors in the United States "are at risk of losing their homes," says the report, "Nightmare on Main Street: Older Americans an the Mortgage Market Crisis."

"Despite the perception that older Americans are more housing secure than younger people, millions of older Americans are carrying more mortgage debt than ever before," the report says.

Trouble Rising Fastest for Seniors

For instance, during the five years covered by the study, seriously delinquent mortgage loans—those in the verge of foreclosure -- for people age 50 or older rose faster than delinquencies for people younger than 50. These loan payments, 90 days or more late, swelled for the 50-plus group by 456 percent from 2007-2011, compared with the also disturbing jump by 361 percent for those under 50.

AARP's analysis included 17.4 million home loans tracked by CoreLogic, a leading data base on home equity. The report reveals that at the end of 2011, more than 600,000 home loans by people 50-plus were in foreclosure. Additionally, 625,000 older homeowners were 90 or more days delinquent—a least three mortgage payments behind, a common trigger for foreclosures.

Furthermore, the research found, by last December 3.5 million loans by older people were "underwater." That is, they owed more than the value of their property.

The AARP analysis found that middle-income mortgage holders "have borne the brunt of the foreclosure crisis." Although those with incomes at less than $50,000 held one-quarter of the home loans in the study — but accounted for one-third of the foreclosures.

Most Age 75-Plus Have No Savings Left

"The biggest problem we found is for the oldest of the old, those age 75 or more," stated  Debra Whitman, AARP executive vice president for policy, in a call-in press briefing on Wednesday.

She noted that two-thirds of those ages 75 or more "have no retirement savings left to make up these differences." They can't refinance or sell their homes, even to have enough to move into assisted living or a nursing home when they become frail.

"Older homeowners often rely on their home equity to finance their needs in retirement – things like health care, home maintenance and other unexpected needs. The fact that so many older Americans have no equity at all is troubling," Whitman said.

Although four five Americans older Americans own their homes, many tapped their home equity before the recession struck for such customary needs as home repairs or rising health care costs. Once the housing bubble burst, millions of seniors depleted their retirement savings and other accounts hoping to save their home.

Even though retirement income is fixed or declining for many, says the study, their costs have escalated.

The report reveals that from 2007-2010 "average expenditures for mortgage interest and charges increased 16.3 percent; average property tax expenditures increased 4.9 percent; average expenditures for utilities increased 5.2 percent; and average health care expenditures increased 5.7 percent."

Ironically, another factor for the added financial jeopardy confronting many seniors is longevity. "We're seeing more and more people today over 100 and over 90," Whitman observed. The combination of more people than ever living beyond age 75, and the dramatic economic downturn means fewer elders have even the modest resources they need to keep a roof over their heads.

Older people face more difficult challenges recovering from a foreclosure as a result of having fewer working years remaining to rebuild their financial security, Whitman said. In addition, seniors who have lost their jobs face longer periods of unemployment. When they do find a job, it is often at a lower pay level than their previous position, and offers little or no benefits.

Foreclosures Double for Older Blacks, Latinos

The report, conducted by Lori A. Trawinski of AARP's Public Policy Institute, shows that Hispanic and black elders suffered "double the foreclosure rate" of older white borrowers. While Latinos and African Americans 50-plus with prime loans saw foreclosure rates of 3.9 percent and 3.5 percent, the level for whites was 1.9 percent in the five-year height of the crisis.

For the more troubling subprime loans, foreclosure levels were sharply higher for everyone 50-plus, the study shows, but particularly for ethnic elders. Overall, subprime mortgages accounted for 6.8 percent of home loans for 50-plus whites in 2011, who tended to have more of the standard prime loans. Blacks, though, had more than three times that percentage of subprime loans, 21.8 percent, and it was 12.9 percent for 50-plus Latino borrowers.

AARP's report adds, "A recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Bank of America supports the allegation that lenders unfairly targeted African American and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans."

Stating that "the housing crisis is far from over," the report calls for a range of policy solutions. It urges more help be provided to seniors with loan modification and reduction of principals, especially where housing prices have plunged well below the original principal used as the basis for the mortgage. The report also recommends increased mediation programs; more access to housing counseling and legal assistance programs; and development of short-term financial assistance programs.

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