It’s been proven in numerous studies that foreclosure can cause depression, suicide, and more trips to the emergency room. But just as research has shown that foreclosures can contribute to health problems, but a recent study shows that health problems can actually lead to foreclosure.
The Study: Foreclosure and Illness
The study, co-authored by Jason Houle, an assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College and Danya Keene, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health concluded that people who were sicker from the years 2007 to 2010 were more likely to lose their jobs. With the loss of their jobs came loss of income and health insurance, which as a result heightened their chance of foreclosure. The study tracked people as they reached their 40th and 50th birthdays during the foreclosure crisis
Here are some numbers:
Middle-aged adults that had chronic conditions that worsened with age are almost twice as likely to default on their mortgages than people whose chronic conditions that remained study. They are also 2.6 times as likely to lapse into foreclosure. than those whose chronic conditions remained stable, according to a recent study that tracked people as they hit their 40th and 50th birthdays during the foreclosure crisis.
No Job Loss, Still Struggling
According to the study, because of high medical costs, even people not struggling with job loss were more likely to default. This fact simply proves just how expensive it is to get sick in the United States.
But even people who weren’t grappling with job loss and its consequences were more likely to default, possibly because they struggled with high medical costs, the study said. Good news though: the Commonwealth Fund, in its most recent health insurance survey, found that under Obama’s expansion of health coverage, the number of adults who reporting they were having trouble paying their medical bills within the past 12 months, or were paying off medical debt, dropped from 75 million in 2013 (41 percent) to 64 million in 2014 (35 percent). Still, based on the most recent study, getting sick could mean the difference between foreclosure or staying in your home.
Source: The Washington Post, Can getting sick push you into foreclosure? January 21, 2015