The recession might have caused more foreclosures than ever before, but just because something’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy. Americans aren’t out of the woods yet, and foreclosures are still the only option for a number of homeowners. The good news is that the housing market is getting better, even though one of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon this year. That might not sound like much, but consider metros like New York City where millions of people own.
Knowing the facts about foreclosure helps make it a little simpler to handle things. It’s no longer easy to get an unaffordable mortgage, but many Americans are still struggling to make payments on past mistakes, or trying to make ends meet with a loss of income. Here are six facts about foreclosures everyone should know. Before buying a house, carefully consider job security, finances and affordability.
1. One Child per Classroom May Lose Their Home
One way to think about foreclosure rates in the US is perhaps the most heartbreaking: In every classroom in the US, one child is at risk of losing their home because their parents can’t make the payments. Just think about how many millions of children there are, and it’s easy to see that foreclosures are still a very common occurrence. Children are often the victims people forget about.
2. 80,000 Foreclosures are Filed Every Month
Another way to look at things is the fact that every month in the US, there are 80,000 new foreclosures. Having a foreclosed home is just the first step in a downward spiral, and many families are crammed into tiny apartments, have to live with extended families or even wind up in shelters when they lose their home. With this many foreclosures each month, it’s no wonder that security isn’t something most people have.
3. 60 Percent of People Don’t Understand Their Mortgage
According to Freddie Mac, 60 percent of people say they wished they better understood their mortgage. Taking out a mortgage is a huge deal, and signing all those papers actually means something. Not understanding the terms is a big reason for the housing bubble burst, and people were happy to sign on for a mortgage they couldn’t afford. Legal paperwork needs to be more accessible to all Americans.
4. 60 Percent of People aren’t Aware of Help Available
Similarly, 60 percent of people admit they’re not aware of the various outlets and help available for people who are at risk of losing their home. Instead, a head in the sand approach is taken by many and they simply stop making payments. There was even a trend of trashing the home before being kicked out by the bank. Numerous agencies, businesses and non-profits offer support, so it’s important to do the research.
5. 43 Percent of Americans Spend More Than They Earn
What savings? It’s shocking, but 43 percent of people spend more than they earn each year. They live off of loans, including mortgages, and who knows what will happen to these people when they can no longer work? The idea of savings and emergency funds are increasingly a thing of the past.
6. 32 Percent of People with Foreclosed Homes Lost Their Job
The vast majority of people with a foreclosed home also lost their job around the same time. The second most common reason is because of a health crisis at 25 percent, which can also lead to a job loss. Once a person misses one payment, it’s easy to fall way behind and see no way out.
How can a person get back on their feet after a foreclosure? Work closely with a financial advisor to learn smart strategies for the future. Start with a budget that includes a savings account, retirement account and emergency fund. Choosing a budget apartment in order to save is a great move, and it’s increasingly a renter’s market so now is the time to get a great deal.