Amid the lingering housing crisis, full of fraudulent foreclosures, falling home prices, missed mortgage modifications, and underwater homes drowning in delinquencies, many disenfranchised Americans have turned to renting to keep a roof over their heads, and their heads above financial water.
But new numbers from the Census Bureau and Morgan Stanley reveal that home ownership rates have fallen even more dramatically than previously thought, with average Americans avoiding the real estate reckoning through a variety of rental safety nets.
While, the official home ownership rate is around 66 percent, if you take out the widening number of mortgage delinquencies, this figure is actually 59.7 percent.
Morgan Stanley's Oliver Chang told American Public Media’s Marketplace that foreclosures take so long these days, they're slow to show up in the numbers:
“So we believe that the seven-and-a-half million people that are delinquent probably should not be counted as homeowners because in a more normal environment, they would already no longer be a homeowner.”
In short, the United States is becoming a country of renters right before our eyes.
According to Marketplace, “Advocates of the tarnished American Dream say ownership creates more stable communities and essentially forces families to save money.” But analyst Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics-- a homeowner -- says buying a house “is sort of like buying a flatscreen TV. It's a luxury, not a necessity.”
Yet, even in a period where renting can be financially friendlier than owning a home of your own, conscientious and reasonable renters continue to face this tough economy head-on too.
Even renters are being threatened by the meteoric rise in foreclosures with lenders actually tacking eviction notices to their rental doors. At the start of the recession, reports of renters being blindsided by foreclosure notices were not unusual. The problem prompted President Obama to sign the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act in 2009. It requires that tenants receive a 90-day notice if they are being evicted due to foreclosure—and that most existing leases for renters be honored up to the end of their term. This is little comfort to renters looking to avoid the housing crisis altogether.
This tenant trauma can be made worse not only foreclosure but when landlords seek bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is a solid solution for homeowners seeking solace from piles of debt, their “get out of jail free card,” can be terrible sign for to the renter-debtor. In turn, some tired tenants are themselves turning to bankruptcy in the hopes of getting back on their financial feet and avoiding eviction from their “Rental Sweet Rental.” In fact, the situation has prompted some bankruptcy judges and attorneys are sometimes forcing defaulting homeowners, investors and landlords to be more accountable to their tenants.
As thousands of American renters search for more immediate and steady help to stay in their apartments and rental homes, many are turning to bankruptcy to stop their own rental recessions. If you too have been effected by the economic crisis, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to conquer your creditors and face your landlord, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond our own “Great Recession.” The bankruptcy professionals at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.