Housing Strains, Marriage and Mental Health

Barb Wire

By Nicole M. King

The News Story – The foreclosure crisis is still burning years after the housing crisis ended

Though the media keeps harping on glowing stories about the improvement of the real-estate market, a large segment of Americans are still facing the threat of foreclosure.

Reports the Washington Post, about 800,000 Americans are in the middle of “transitioning out of” President Obama’s foreclosure-relief initiative. According to the Post, “About 28 percent of the borrowers who qualified for the Home Affordable Modification Program (or HAMP) redefaulted since the government launched its effort in 2009.” About 11% of program participants were in danger of defaulting as of November 2013 because of missed mortgage payments. For remaining program participants, only time will tell. When RAMP ends, these borrowers will see their interest rates — which had been dramatically slashed — slowly start to climb again.

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Research suggests that as serious as the housing crisis was, however, factors beyond interest rates and mortgage payments may lie behind at least a part of the current foreclosure epidemic.

The New Research – Divorced, in default, and depressed

Consequent to the economic meltdown of 2008, millions of Americans found themselves in default on their houses, with hundreds of thousands actually losing their homes. Not surprisingly, in a study recently completed at the Universities of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and North Texas, researchers report that many of those caught in this tidal wave of default and foreclosure are suffering from poor physical and mental health. Nor should it astonish anyone that a disproportionate number of those caught in this destructive maelstrom are divorced and separated.

Read more: MercatorNet.com

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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