A recent study proposes a correlation between the current economic recession and divorce rates in Tennessee and across the country. Although the overall divorce rate in America has declined since the 1980s, data from the United States Census Bureau reflects an uptick of about 30,000 additional divorces between 2009 and 2010, the period associated with the nation’s real estate crisis.
The researcher believes that fears of possible foreclosure contributed to the divorces of many homeowners. Notably, the study found that people living in poverty did not divorce at a higher rate in the same period, nor did unemployment appear to have had an effect on the divorce rate.
When real estate troubles are putting strain on a relationship, it is important to consult with professionals who can advise couples on all of their options. Financial mistakes may occur as a direct consequence of avoiding the hard questions. An attorney will be able to offer unflinching advice that a couple may have been avoiding. A debt management formula proposed by an attorney might actually meet the least resistance from couples — and save their relationship.
For example, in today’s housing market, any equity in a house may be depleted by its current market value (an underwater mortgage), and it may not be affordable to remain in the home. An attorney can advise you on the latest law regarding short sales — when a homeowner sells for less than the amount he or she owes on the mortgage, and the mortgage lender agrees to forgive the difference.
In the alternative, an attorney can also offer strategies for couples seeking to avoid foreclosure. For example, the automatic stay provided by a Chapter 13 proceeding provides a legal means for reorganizing debt in such a way that couples may be able to protect their home and pay off their debt pursuant to a court-approved payment plan.
Source: New York Magazine, “Do the Rich Get More Recession Divorces,” Lisa Miller, Aug. 16, 2012
- Our firm handles situations similar to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Memphis Stopping Foreclosure page.