PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2019 

Chants of a different sort greet U.S. Rep. Omar upon her return home to Minnesota. Also on our Friday rundown: A new report says gunshot survivors need more outreach, support. Plus, sharing climate-change perspectives in Charlotte.

Daily Newscasts

AARP: Homeowners Over 50 Still Reeling from Housing Crisis

July 20, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon's new Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program went into effect last week - maybe just in time to keep a few older homeowners from losing their property.

A new report from AARP's Public Policy Institute says more young homeowners may be delinquent on their mortgages - but the delinquency rate has increased faster among people 50 and older. The study says nationwide, three million of these older owners are still at risk of losing homes.

Angela Martin, executive director of Economic Fairness Oregon, says adjustable-rate mortgages can take much of the blame.

"These were loans that were inappropriate for their financial place in life, and when it came time to adjust to that higher mortgage payment, they didn't have the income to sustain it. And the promises of, 'Don't worry about it, you'll refinance when that time comes...' fell through."

Oregon is no stranger to foreclosures, with more than 50,000 in recent years. Foreclosure rates are down, although so far this year, about 9,800 Oregon homes have been foreclosed on and Martin says almost 50 new notices are sent out every month.

Oregon has a state program that helps seniors, and people with disabilities, defer property taxes they are unable to pay, although fewer people are eligible for it under recent rule changes.

The AARP report also says 16 percent of the houses owned by people 50 and older are worth less than what's owed on them. Martin says lack of home equity limits a person's ability to fix their financial problems - and can change their plans to move, downsize or retire.

"You now owe more on your home than it was worth, so you can't sell it without permission from your bank. So, you're tied to your home, unlike Americans have ever been tied to that home. It's no longer your nest egg, and it's no longer something you can liquidate when the time comes."

She has noticed older women have been especially hard-hit in the housing crisis, often also helping to support grown children or aging parents.

The new Oregon law says people at risk of foreclosure can request mediation with their lender and a neutral third-party. Details about the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation program are online at, or by phone at 855-658-6733.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR