A boom in refinancing, a trend toward buying a first home later in life and home equity borrowing all contributed to the increase in mortgage debt, the bureau said. Seniors’ average outstanding balances relative to the value of their homes also rose from 30% to 46% over 2001-2011. The CFPB said:
Decreased home equity wealth is a great concern in light of Americans’ increased longevity and lack of financial preparedness for retirement. For many, home equity — which is often their primary and sometimes only asset — may not be there when they are likely to need it later in life.
Read the report.