Facing Foreclosure After 50
Roy Johnson fell so far behind on his $1,000-per-month mortgage payments that last year he allowed the redbrick, three-bedroom ranch he had owned since 1963 to lapse into foreclosure.
“I couldn’t pay it any longer,” he said. “One day, I woke up and said, ‘Hell, I’m through with it. I’m walking away from the house.’ ”
That decision swept Mr. Johnson, 79, into a rapidly expanding demographic: older Americans who have lost their homes in the Great Recession. As he hauled his belongings by pickup truck from this Atlanta suburb and moved into his daughter’s basement, Mr. Johnson became one of the one and a half million Americans over the age of 50 who lost their houses to foreclosure between 2007 and 2011. Of those, the highest foreclosure rate was for homeowners over 75.