Getting sick push you into foreclosure, Piles of research link foreclosure to depression, increased emergency room visits and even suicide among people who have lost their homes or are close to it. But just as foreclosures can contribute to health problems, new research shows that health problems can contribute to foreclosure, as well.
Middle-aged adults with chronic conditions that got worse as they grew older are nearly twice as likely to default on their mortgages and 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.
The study concluded that those who got sicker from 2007 through 2010 were more likely to lose their jobs, and therefore their income and health insurance, which heightened their chances of foreclosure. 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.
In other words, even with the foreclosure crisis behind us, the economy improving and a new health care law in effect that provides expanded coverage for millions of Americans, it’s still extremely expensive to get sick in this country. And one of the consequences may be losing your house.
“The bigger theme remains: Can we break the link between becoming ill and becoming financially devastated?” said Jason Houle, an assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. “The recession was a good case study to explore this larger question.”
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