Foreclosures Emotional Toll On Families: Avoid Stresses Of A Foreclosure

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When parents are struggling to keep the family in their home due to a foreclosure notices, it translates to continuing emotional anguish for many homeowners, draining levels of strength and time to care for their children well. Minneapolis is a great place to live


Emotional stress Escalates During Minnesota Foreclosures


Twin Cities homeowners facing uncertainty about the fate of their ability to remain in their home yields increased mental anguish for many owners.


While seeking Minneapolis foreclosure help and solutions, nerves wear raw during sleep deprived moments of worry. While the positives outweighed the negatives in mixed housing news last week, if you are a distressed Twin Cities homeowner facing foreclosure, you should take immediate action gain homeowners protections from foreclosure. RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data, said overall U.S. foreclosure filings dropped 1% in March, a slight improvement over February's foreclosure numbers. However, that is a grand improvement over March 2012 numbers, plunging down 23% from March of 2012. RealtyTrac's newly released figures show that while foreclosure numbers are improving, the emotional impacts of foreclosure on families and children has long-term side effects.


The foreclosure report tells us that 34 states showed annual decreases in U.S. bank repossessions in March 2013. During that window, a few states experienced foreclosure rates sharply on the increase last month. They including:


Arkansas (up 121% annually)
Maryland (up 114%)
Washington (up 88%)
Pennsylvania (up 41%)
Ohio (up 39%)


"Although the overall national foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher in some local markets where aggressive efforts to help stop foreclosure in previous years are wearing off." ~ Daren Blomquist RealtyTrac Vice President


Foreclosures Emotional Toll On Seniors


AARP reports that the foreclosure numbers for people over age 75 jumped eightfold between 2007 and 2011.


Blomquist also warned that, while such efforts in many states have increased the average time needed to foreclose, those delays could also lead to another unwanted rash of foreclosures in the near future. Housing analysts scrutinize data foretelling whether the U.S. real estate sector is firmly on the rebound. Stressed homeowners who have been forced through the Minnesota foreclosure timeline are still dealing with the emotional toll brought on by a foreclosure crisis. The New York Times reports that between 2007 and early 2012, about 4 million Americans were in foreclosure. And an AARP study released last year found the foreclosure rate for people over age 75 jumped eightfold between 2007 and 2011.


High Number of Seniors in Foreclosure


Housing costs continue to financially challenge many older Americans; however the costs of ensuing medical costs for the added emotional toll are hard to put a figure on. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) produced a fact sheet to provide caring individuals a grasp of the financial struggles facing older Americans. In November 2012, the NCOA reported that 28 percent of all foreclosures and delinquencies are from individuals age 50 and older. RealtyTrac offers a handy tool where you can see the housing data on each Twin Cities county and learn of the pre-foreclosure numbers.


Families In Foreclosure Require More Mental Health Services


Take quick positive steps to gain help and avoid a downward spiral syndrome.


Which leads to another fact: While economic hard times may prompt many people to defer costly medical procedures and other services, stressed individuals seek mental health and substance abuse services increases during a foreclosure crisis. The same individuals needing help the most find budgets for mental health services are also stretched during scrambles for dollars to pay for needs. According to the 2011 NAMI report, "With demand for public mental health services extremely high, especially at a time of severe economic distress, the crisis in mental health care continues. The impacts are felt throughout society as people go without the treatment they need."


"It is well established that adverse economics has a profound impact on mental health. There has been a dramatic rise in suicides in Greece during their economic crisis, and so this not only a U.S. phenomenon of increased mental health vulnerability during economic distress." ~ Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


Strengthening Protections for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure:


Homeownership is a big part of the American dream, says Duckworth, and distress over foreclosure can be particularly hard-hitting for Americans, promoting what he calls "a sense of feeling trapped for some people who are underwater on their homes." He added that the "loss of one's dream home has great potential to generate shame and humiliation, which raises risks of depression, substance abuse and bad outcomes."


RealtyTrac Report Highlights


stressful when a bank repossess a foreclosed homeLower Numbers Of Bank Foreclosure Repossessions

Lenders repossessed 43,597 properties nationwide in March, the lowest since September 2007. U.S. bank repossessions (REOs) in March decreased 3 percent from February and were down 21 percent from a year ago.


emotional stress when foreclosure alternatives are unclear Foreclosure Sales Not Allowed Before All Other Alternatives Are Considered:

U.S. foreclosure starts increased 2 percent from February to March, the second straight monthly increase following three consecutive monthly decreases. There were a total of 73,113 foreclosure starts nationwide in March, still down 28 percent from a year ago.


Higher Emotional toll due to longer foreclosures processes Foreclosures Processes Are Taking Longer

Properties repossessed by lenders in the first quarter took an average of 477 days to complete the foreclosure process, up from 414 days in the previous quarter and a record high since RealtyTrac began tracking this metric in the first quarter of 2007. All states recording the lengthier time it takes to repossess a foreclosed home are non-judicial foreclosure states.


Judicial States Have Higher Foreclosure NumbersJudicial States Have Higher Foreclosure Numbers

First quarter foreclosure activity in the 26 judicial or quasi-judicial states combined increased 6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, while first quarter foreclosure activity in the 24 judicial states decreased 44 percent during the same time period. Similarly, March foreclosure activity increased 4 percent annually in the judicial states combined but decreased 44 percent annually in the non-judicial states combined.


Young And Elderly More Vulnerable to Foreclosures Emotional Toll


In THE IMPACTS OF FORECLOSURES ON FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, a Brookings study conducted by the Urban Institute, two particular population groups were determined to be most vulnerable to foreclosures emotional toll:

children Children must be singled out because they are likely to be affected more deeply than adults by foreclosure impacts (e.g., being forced to move to a new neighborhood and school, loss of friendships, disruption in daily routines, stress within the family).

elderly face disruptions as foreclosure implies Similarly, the elderly are particularly vulnerable—financially, physically, and emotionally—to such major disruptions as foreclosure implies, and strategies for supporting them may differ from those for younger families.


Home Destination Sees Brookings Summing Up The Emotional Tolls Of Foreclosure On Children:


Recent attention has been drawn by new RealtyTrac reports on foreclosure numbers that remind us of Brooking April 2012 study on the impact of foreclosure on children. The author’s estimates were based on research published by the Center on Responsible Lending and data on children’s living arrangements from the American Community Survey. Foreclosure add a negative burden to children caught in foreclosure through at least four different pathways.


Pending Sales were up 6.7 percent to 2,962. First, the stark reality is that families receiving foreclosure notices have no choice but to move than other families. Even apart from foreclosure, the study shows that children who move frequently do less well in school.

homeowners receiving a foreclosure notice are under a lot of financial and psychological stress Second, homeowners receiving a foreclosure notice are under a lot of financial and psychological stress, trying desperately just to stay in their house, adding the pressure to find a new home quickly if forced out. A body of research dating back to the Great Depression finds that job loss and other forms of economic hardship can affect the way parents interact with each other and their children. In particular, parents under a lot of financial distress sometimes engage in harsher and less supportive parenting, which bears the fruit of negative behaviors on the part of children, multiplying peer challenges of social interactions in school.

foreclosures and housing instability have a negative impact on physical as well as mental health Third, Brookings says, "foreclosures and housing instability have a negative impact on physical as well as mental health, with studies finding higher rates of non-elective visits to emergency rooms and hospitals in ZIP codes with the highest foreclosure rates, as well as a strong association between housing instability and postponement of needed health care visits and necessary medications".

Pending Sales were up 6.7 percent to 2,962.Fourth, housing data shows that foreclosures are often highly concentrated in specific local housing districts, impacting innocent children living in or near foreclosed homes who end up suffering the consequences of living in neighborhoods with more vacant homes, higher crime rates, lower social systems of support, and a lower tax base.


Minnesota Department of Health Says Children Are Profoundly Impacted By Stress At Home


Children are deeply impacted by the stress levels in their homes. They need the security of a stable and healthy home life, which is a big job in good times, and much more challenging during foreclosure.


The Minnesota Department of Health states that "child development is profoundly influenced by our interpersonal experiences and by the environments in which we live. Homes full of affection and free of stress help us develop healthy relationships and establish a basis for healthy decision making throughout our lives, while the number of traumatic childhood experiences we have increases our risk for alcoholism, depression, heart disease, liver disease, intimate partner violence, sexually transmitted infections, smoking, and suicide".


"Many children of foreclosure have no choice but to live in temporary quarters like motel rooms, emergency shelters, or even the family car. Homelessness in children plunges upward by leaps and bounds when foreclosure forces families out of their homes. Regardless of the cause of the foreclosure crisis, the biggest loosers are often the children. If you're a parent facing foreclosure, remember to spend more time attending to your child's emotions. It is even more important than saving your physical home. Save your family. You can ease the transition best by being there for them, maintaining as much normality as possible, assuring them you will remain together no matter what." ~ Jenna Thuening


The Number Of Children Hurt By Foreclosures Is Staggering


First Focus reported on compiled data showing that of the 38,991 Minnesota families in foreclosure, 44.2 are household with 1.92 children. These numbers were prepared during May 2008 and showed it Minnesota home foreclosures left 33,100 children to deal with foreclosure emotional toll. At that time they predicted that over the next two years, an estimated 2 million children would be directly impacted by the mortgage crisis as their families lose their homes due to foreclosures. These children not only lost their homes, but they sought to find their footing while losing their friends, schools, and in many ways, their childhood.


According to Brooking Focus First report, five years of the foreclosure turmoil has had heavy tolls on American families with children. Today fewer Minnesota families are caught in the Minnesota foreclosure timeline, yet it continues and vulnerable and innocent children to lose their homes through foreclosure. Here is what Brookings says the numbers reveal:

* An estimated 2.3 million children in single-family homes have already lost their homes to foreclosure

* An Additional 3.0 million children – are at serious risk of losing their homes in the future

* Another three million or so children were evicted, or may face eviction, from rental properties that undergo foreclosure

Adding the sums tallies up to a staggering 8 million children are directly affected by the ongoing foreclosure crisis. As single-family and rental properties continue to enter foreclosure, children face not just the loss of their homes, but also the risk of losing friends and falling behind academically if they are forced to switch neighborhoods and schools.



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Home Destination, a Minneapolis Certified Distressed Property Expert and professional Realtor with RE/MAX Results, offer hope and best options to families caught in foreclosure. Understanding some effects of the enormous emotional toll that foreclosures may have on individuals, Home Destination places priorities on helping families stay together whether they manage to successfully stay in their home or not. Call 612-396-7832 and ask for Jenna Thuening. Home and family are worth every effort to protect.



Jenna Thuening, a home prices and market review Residential Realtor and Certified Distressed Property Expert focuses on helping children and families find the best housing solutions when facing foreclosure.

11200 W. 78th St
Eden Prairie MN 55334
Phone: 612-396-7832
Jenna's home page:

If I'm out in the field, you may quickly reach me by email: jenna@homedestination.com and note how I can help you, or leave a message on my voicemail and I will return your call as quickly as possible.