Monday, July 20, 2009

Report Shows African American Homeowners Are Hard Hit by Foreclosure Crisis

Today NeighborWorks America, the administrator of the Congressionally authorized National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program, announced that of the more than 363,000 homeowners who received foreclosure prevention counseling as a result of NFMC funding through March 31, 2009, 28 percent were African American homeowners, more than twice their representation in the overall public, and more than three times their representation of total homeowners. In all, 53 percent of NFMC Program clients were minority homeowners, or more than twice the overall percent of minority homeowners.

Nationwide, African American homeowners make up only 9 percent of the nation’s homeowners. Twenty-four percent of the nation’s homeowners are racial/ethnic minorities, with Hispanic homeowners accounting for 11 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islanders accounting for 4 percent.

Also according to the NeighborWorks America NFMC report, which analyzed client data through March 31, 2009, of all NFMC Program clients that held mortgages with interest rates above 8 percent, 35 percent are African American homeowners. Yet African American homeowners only account for 19 percent of the nation’s subprime mortgages.

In addition, African American clients who sought foreclosure prevention counseling were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages than adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) —
51 percent of clients held fixed rate mortgages, and 38 percent held ARMs, compared to Hispanic clients, who were more likely to hold ARMs (47 percent) than fixed rate mortgages (41 percent). Like African American clients, White clients were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages (59 percent) than ARMs (31 percent).

The report also noted that lower-income homeowners are likely to have a greater rate of foreclosure starts than higher-income homeowners. Fifty-eight percent of African American NFMC clients reported earning 80 percent or below their Area Median Income.

To learn more, download the latest NFMC report.