Senior Citizens Struggling With Mortgage Payments Could Qualify for Property Tax Deferment

by Francine Huff
January 23rd, 2009

Senior citizens are among the Americans who are having the toughest time paying their mortgages. Those who live in Washington, D.C., California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are really struggling, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The AP analyzed U.S. Census data from 2007 and found that about three in 10 seniors with mortgages pay at least 38% of their income on housing expenses. Homeowners who spend more than 38% of pretax income on housing expenses may qualify for help with loans from Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And senior citizens who are minorities may be even more likely to have trouble paying their home loans. About a third of Hispanic homeowners spend at least 38% of their income on housing and about 25% of Asian and black households spend at least that much. About 16% of white households spend at least 38% of income on housing expenses.

While some states have been hit harder than others, homeowner of all ages, races, and income levels are feeling the heat to keep up with mortgage payments and other bills. But because many senior citizens are on a fixed income, they often find themselves facing tough spending decisions, like going without medications in order to pay bills.

Some cities and towns are looking for ways to help seniors with payments related to their mortgages. For instance, the DuPage County treasurer’s office and Illinois Department of Revenue are allowing senior citizens to defer property tax payments until they sell their homes.

“Property taxes have become a struggle for a lot of people, and if we can help, that’s great,” DuPage County Treasurer Gwen Henry told the Addison Press. “If [seniors are] having to give up medicine or something like that to pay their taxes, this is a much better alternative.”

Some other states that allow tax deferments are Washington, Minnesota, and Oregon. But other states and municipalities have similar programs so contact your local government to find out if you might qualify for a tax deferment program to ease some of the pain of paying housing expenses.

  •  | 
  •  | 


Comments are closed.