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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Older homeowners falling more into foreclosure

HousingWire's Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news from the weekend, with more coverage on bigger issues.

Homeowners more than 50 years old are falling into foreclosure faster than any other age group, particularly widows whose husbands held the mortgage, said the New York Times.

Foreclosures among homeowners over 50 increased by 23% over the past five years, resulting in 1.5 million foreclosures.

The main reason for the rise in foreclosures is due to women outliving their spouses and not being able to cop with ballooning, medical costs, mortgage and pension cuts. 

Advocates are petitioning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create guidelines for lenders in scenarios involving surviving relatives. Banks have also stated that they will work with widows. For example, JPMorgan Chase allows for surviving relatives to complete a mortgage assumption and loan modification simultaneously. 

About 6% of loans held by persons over 50 were delinquent in 2011, up from 1% in 2007, according to a study by AARP.

One of the problems is older Americans are saving less and borrowing more, said executive vice president for policy Debra Whitman of AARP. 

Click here to read the full story.

Former New Jersey loan officer Frederick "Freddie" Grippo at Worldwide Financial Resources pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which was part of a $4.4 million mortgage scheme, according to the Atlantic Highlands Herald.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Grippo’s sentencing is scheduled for March 6, 2013.

The activities took place between Jan. 2008 and Feb. 2010 with the president of Morgan Financial Equity and Vanick Holdings acting as Grippo’s co-conspirator. 

Mortgage Financial offered an Equity Share Program, which allegedly helped homeowners who faced foreclosures. The program created a limited liability company in the "name of the homeowner’s house in which the homeowner would supposedly own a 90% interest, with the rest to be owned by one or two private investors." 

In actuality, the fake investors were instead straw buyers recruited by Grippo and his co-conspirator. Grippo and his associates would then create mortgage applications of the fake investors for the purchase of the distressed properties. The applications contained false information including monthly income and assets.

Once the applications were completed and submitted to Worldwide Financial Resources for processing, Grippo approved the loans. The money was then wired to the settlement agent for a given transaction. 

To read the full story, click here.

Over the next five years, potential homebuyers should stay away from Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Fla. — predicted to be the worst housing market — and catch a plane to Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. — expected to be the best housing market, according to Business Insider.

The publication compiled two lists featuring the best and worst 15 housing markets throughout the nation. These markets are expected to see home prices decline by 1% until March 2013, but rise 3.3% until 2017, according to data collected from Fiserv Case-Shiller.

The cities are ranked by the expected annualized change in home prices between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2017. 

The worst housing market list included Amarillo, TX, Ithaca, NY and Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ.

The best housing market list included Palm Coast, Fla., Bend, Ore. and Napa, Calif.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recorded no new bank failures this past week.  

HousingWire is pleased to announce acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Edward DeMarco as its 2012 Person of the Year!

Check back here to read the full story.

cmlynski@housingwire.com

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