Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more



Contests and

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Financial Regulatory Reform

Mortgage Reform for Borrowers

New law requires "lenders to do more," restricts prepayment penalties

Struggling to pay the bills after her husband became sick with colon cancer in 2006, Mamie Jackson, 85, decided to refinance her home in Stone Mountain, Ga. Jackson thought she would lower her monthly payments and pocket some money through the deal.

But that's not how things worked out. After signing the paperwork, Jackson was stunned to learn that her payments would actually be higher than they were under her old loan, rising from about $850 per month to $1,273.

With just $2,500 in Social Security and pension income each month between Jackson and her husband, Daniel, 87, the new payments were nearly impossible to meet. Then, two years later, she got another surprise. Jackson discovered that the new mortgage came with an adjustable interest rate and her payments began to rise even more.

"They should have told us that it was changing to [an] adjustable rate because we couldn't afford that," says Jackson.

Mamie Jackson

Mamie Jackson — Rusell Kaye

Worse yet, the loan included a prepayment penalty during the first two years, essentially locking the Jacksons into the unaffordable mortgage by making it cost prohibitive to refinance yet again.

The Jacksons' situation is far from unique, says Jennifer Staack, a staff attorney with the Senior Citizens Law Project at Atlanta Legal Aid. She is representing the couple in a lawsuit against their lender alleging that the loan was misrepresented.

"These are unsophisticated borrowers," says Staack. "Clearly, the mortgage company could tell by looking at the numbers that the loan was not affordable."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Visa® Card from Chase.

AARP Financial Services

Info on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.