Monday, March 29, 2010
Senior Legal Hotline
California A statewide legal aid organization that helps senior citizens says more older Californians are being hurt by home foreclosures. David Mandel is with the Senior Legal Hotline. He says seniors have long been targets of predatory lending practices. But in 2008 and 2009 they handled 600 calls from those who needed help with their mortgages—far more than they've had in previous years.
Mandel says many senior homeowners who seek help are already in difficult financial situations when they're approached by lenders to refinance or take out a second mortgage.
"They were often under pressure to take such a loan because of sudden drops in income," Mandel says. "The death of a spouse that was not anticipated, or earlier than expected retirement due to disability—those kinds of things happen very frequently with seniors."
Mandel says they are gearing up for more of these calls. He says they've helped some people reduce their principal balance and provided others with options when keeping their home is no longer possible.