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Florida widows stuck in confusing nature of foreclosures

We've all heard the horror stories of trying to avoid foreclosure and obtain a loan modification. There have been complaints of lenders messing up forms, homeowners being asked for the same paperwork from several times by different representatives, and phone calls not being returned. In fact, many of these complaints even led to a $26 billion settlement between five of the largest mortgage servicers in the U.S.

However, while the settlement was a big win for homeowners, it appears widows are still facing many of the same issues due to the way the system works.

One 70-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, woman's story was recently highlighted in a news article discussing the threat of foreclosure many widows are now facing. The woman said her husband passed away due to kidney failure last year. Since then, she has fallen behind on mortgage payments and is terrified she is going to lose her home.

The issue is that the mortgage is in her husband's name. Due to being behind on payments, her name cannot be added to the mortgage note. Without her name on the mortgage, she cannot apply for a loan modification, which is one of her saving graces to being able to keep her home.

Sadly, this woman's story is not unheard of. In fact, it's one many widows in Florida, and all around the country, are telling.

According to the AARP, while there is no numbers on how many widows are facing foreclosure, there has been a general increase in the number of people age 50 and older facing foreclosure.

When looking at why more are falling behind on payments, the executive vice president for policy with the AARP said, in general, elderly Americans are borrowing more and saving less. Add into the mix medical bills and it only becomes harder and harder to get out of debt. This is leading to older people losing their homes to foreclosure and just general loan delinquency debt.

Source: The New York Times, "Mortgage Catch Pushes Widows Into Foreclosure," Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Dec. 1, 2012

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