According to an article in US News, the foreclosure crisis may be making American homeowners sick–literally. There was a study done on 250 Philadelphia homeowners facing foreclosure and 50 percent of them reported being depressed, while 60 percent reported skipping meals because they could not afford food and another 48 percent said that they could no longer afford to pay for their prescription medication due to their pending foreclosure.
The article said:
“The foreclosure crisis is also a health crisis. We need to do more to ensure that if people lose their homes, they don’t also lose their health,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Craig E. Pollack, who conducted the research while at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said in a news release.”
These numbers are disturbing. There was already anecdotal evidence that foreclosure along with other financial stressors such as high credit card debt could cause adverse health affects; but this study offers us a rare glimpse at the situation in numbers. Unfortunately, those numbers are probably just the tip of the iceberg. In cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth where we have a very large number of foreclosures and homeowners living in homes with upside down mortgages, you can only imagine the amount of mental stress homeowners are experiencing. Many homeowners facing foreclosure and other financial issues do their best to repay their debts even if it jeopardizes their well being. Terminating health insurance, buying less food or not buying prescription medication is not a long-term viable strategy for getting out of debt; but it is a recipe for disaster. Debtors who have found that they are unable to maintain the minimal conditions to insure a healthy existence are probably good candidates for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy helps debtors avoid the mental stress associated with foreclosure and high debt; because bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge much of their debt and get a fresh financial start. As soon as a debtor files bankruptcy all creditor collections actions must stop, including foreclosure. Because of this bankruptcy offers the debtor immediate relief from the unrelenting pressure of being in debt.