Can Health Problems Lead to Foreclosure?

Undergoing a foreclosure can lead home owners to depression, sickness, and even suicide, research shows. But existing health problems also can lead you to foreclosure.

Middle-aged adults with chronic conditions that grew worse as they aged are nearly twice as likely to default on their mortgages and 2.6 times as likely to fall into foreclosure than those with chronic conditions that remained stable, according to new research. The study tracked people as they hit their 40th and 50th birthdays during the foreclosure crisis.

Researchers found that those who grew more ill from 2007 through 2010 were more likely to lose their jobs, as well as income and health insurance. They were more likely, therefore, to also face a foreclosure on their home. Even those who grew more sick but kept their jobs were also found to be more likely to default – possibly due to the rise in their medical costs that were taking priority over their mortgage, researchers suggested.

“The bigger theme remains: Can we break the link between becoming ill and becoming financially devastated?” said Jason Houle, co-author on the study and an assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. “The recession was a good case study to explore this larger question.”    Your comments?

Source: “Can Getting Sick Push You into Foreclosure?” The Washington Post (Jan. 21, 2015)