Sunday, 30 December 2012

Homeowners Still Wait to Receive Funds from Foreclosure Settlement

California was one of several states included in a multi-billion-dollar federal foreclosure settlement, to help homeowners struggling with foreclosure.  However, even 2 years after the disbursement of much of the settlement, the program is still struggling to make sure that homeowners receive the funds.
The federal settlement totaled $7.6 billion, and involved 5 of the largest mortgage lenders as part of a settlement through the Hardest Hit program.  The program was one of several that were initiated by the administration to combat the rising tide of foreclosures. 
Out of the $7.6 billion that was committed, about $900 million had been given to homeowners by November, and another $620 million had been committed to the 18 states that were part of the program. A time period of until 2017 was given to spend the money.  Different states received different amounts, and California received one of the largest amounts.  The state received close to $2 billion, and is believed to have distributed more than $200 million.
California was on top of the priority list, because the state had suffered severely with high foreclosure rates and plummeting house prices.  As California foreclosure lawyers saw, the foreclosure crisis in the state was dire, and necessitated expansive measures.  However, the speed of the disbursement of money to homeowners has been slow.  
Several states, including California, are now changing the program to make it quicker and more responsive to homeowners.  Initially, the state required loan servicers to match reductions in principal made by the program, but the idea received very little response from servicers.  Currently, California provides up to $100,000 in reduction of principal for homeowners eligible under the program, with no match from servicers.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Senior Divorce Rates on the Rise

The number of older couples finding their way to a San Jose divorce lawyer has been increasing.  According to new statistics from a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University, divorce rates involving adults above the age of 50, doubled between 1990 and 2010.
The study of senior divorces found that the divorce rate for senior citizens was 2.5 times higher for those who were in their 2nd marriages, compared to first marriages.  Now that baby boomers are entering their 60s, it is likely that we may see an increase in the number of divorce rates, as people who have remarried find their marriages crumbling.
The reason why divorce rates are increasing in the above-50 category is the fact that people are now living much longer than they did a few decades ago.  That means that more seniors are asking themselves whether they want to live in unhappy, or less than satisfying, marriages with the same spouses that they married many years ago. 
Financial independence also seems to be a key reason why so many older women choose divorce as an option, compared to just a few decades back.  Women are more economically independent than their mothers and grandmothers were, and have the financial ability to take care of themselves.
Besides, in the case of couples who are above 50 years of age, the children are grown up, and may not really be an issue to worry about.  This is unlike in the case of younger couples, who may decide to stay together purely for the sake of the children.
Among other findings in the study was the fact that the United States now has the highest divorce rate in the world.  About 45% of marriages in the United States are now expected to end with a trip to a divorce lawyer.