Nearly one in 10 American households with a mortgage are behind on their payments, according the Mortgage Bankers Association. And nearly 38 percent of those facing foreclosure reported a significant decline in their physical and/or mental health according to some reports released by county public health departments around the nation. Unfortunately, many homeowners facing foreclosure do not seek professional help once the stress of foreclosure begins to affect their mental and physical health because they often don't recognize the symptoms or the urgency of those health problems.
Below are four signs that foreclosure is having a negative impact on your health:
- You have generalized feelings of apprehension and dread especially as it pertains to your finances. You may avoid opening letters from your mortgage company or even pretend that the foreclosure isn't going to happen in order to avoid this debilitating feeling.
- You feel tense and jumpy even in casual everyday situations that have nothing to do with your pending foreclosure. Many debtors struggling with foreclosure and other debt issues find that the stress can put them on edge even in social interactions that would be otherwise relaxing.
- You have unexplained muscle aches and pains that can range from there all the time, to only surfacing under certain circumstances. Those facing foreclosure may not realize that stress often manifests itself physically.
- You feel hopeless about your situation and feel that the foreclosure is the "end of the line" for you hopes and dreams. This type of mental health issue is especially prevalent in older homeowners who suffer foreclosure after 10 or more years of investing into the American Dream of homeownership. Feelings of hopelessness are especially dangerous because they stop us from taking productive actions that could alleviate our problems.
Debtors who are beginning to feel the effects of foreclosure or other debt problems on their health should seek the assistance of a medical professional. They should also consider speaking to a bankruptcy attorney about how bankruptcy can help alleviate some or all of their financial problems. One of the best advantages of bankruptcy is that it relieves the stress that out of control debt creates. The most common comment that debtors make after filing bankruptcy is that they have a feeling of extreme relief.