People age 65 and older have the highest homeownership rates (close to 80 percent) of any age group, comprising one-quarter of all homeowners in the United States, and are thus targets for unfair or even fraudulent home repair schemes.
AARP's mail survey of 1,037 randomly selected AARP members in Michigan's Kent and Wayne counties, who are primarily African-American and have income and assets below $25,000 annually, found that:
- 95 percent rate working to strengthen laws and regulations that protect consumers from unfair and deceptive lending practices associated with home repair fraud as a top or high priority for Michigan
- 96 percent think it is important for AARP to promote educational programs to protect consumers from home repair fraud
- Members support lending practice laws and such mechanisms as bonding and insurance designed to protect consumers entering into and financing home improvement contracts
Surveying was conducted during June and July 2002. FGI, Inc. tabulated the data and the report was prepared by Susan L. Silberman, Ph.D., of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted for further information at 202/434-6339. (16 pages)