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Foreclosures can impact homeowners' mental health

The foreclosure rate has declined in the U.S. during the last few months but for homeowners still facing foreclosure, the nightmare may be just beginning. A new study found that foreclosures can cause distress for many homeowners, threatening their mental health during and after foreclosure.

This is a serious issue as over four million Americans have had their home foreclosed during 2007 and 2012. Reports on foreclosures often focus on how many people face the threat of losing their homes or on how long the foreclosure process takes, but a new study analyzed the emotional and mental impact foreclosure has on homeowners.

The findings were a bit shocking to some as the study reported that foreclosure can have a significant impact on a person's mental health due to homeownership being a big part of the American dream. The study said that when some homeowners lose their home, part of their dream is ruined and many become humiliated after going through the foreclosure process.

Some homeowners and families that go through foreclosure may have a higher risk of mental health issues, including substance abuse, depression and other negative consequences associated with poor mental health.

The findings of this study show just how serious foreclosures can be for homeowners. While not all homeowners facing foreclosure are at risk to suffer poor mental health, many homeowners may not be aware of the full impact losing their home will have on their lives.

That is why it is important for homeowners facing foreclosure to understand all of their options, including filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or fighting against the mortgage lender to keep the home. Filing bankruptcy or legally challenging a foreclosure notice are serious issues and should be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney before any action is taken.

Source: MSN, "The foreclosure crisis' other toll: Emotional stress," Bruce Kennedy, April 15, 2013

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