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WARNING! Foreclosure is Dangerous to Your Health

James Doan - Wednesday, September 07, 2011

By James Patrick Doan, Esq

Today’s economy adds a new meaning to being “home sick.”   

There is no doubt; the housing crisis is making America sicker. What many have believed all along is now considered scientific fact. The threat of losing your home is enough to make you seriously ill. According to a recently published report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, “an increase of 100 foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2% rise in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and an 8.1% increase for diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49.”

The report also claimed that “each rise of 100 foreclosures was associated with 12% more ER visits related to anxiety in the same age category.” Striking is the fact that “the same rise in foreclosures was associated with 39% more visits for suicide attempts among the same group.”   

The housing barometer, the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index report came in 5.9% down for the second quarter year over year. Many economists are predicting another wave of foreclosures based on economic uncertainty and continued job losses. 

Doan Law Firm has published several articles relating to health problems being related to financial duress, not just foreclosures. As we see it, there is a direct correlation between a person’s financial health and their physical health. Our focus has always been on the cure for the symptoms brought on by financial duress.

Most of our clients find immediate relief in the form of bankruptcy; some keeping their homes, and others enlightened to find the best exit strategy in having us help them with their short sale. Following is our recommendation for anyone who is under serious financial duress.

Turn Stress into an Asset! Realize that stress is unavoidable but it doesn’t have to be damaging. Recognize that stress is a feeling, not a sign of dysfunction. Focus on what you can control. Contact someone with the experience and ability to help you understand all of your options. 

Create a Plan and Take Control. Below is a list of the services that we review with our clients to determine which alternative might best serve their particular situation.

·         Chapter 7 Bankruptcy eliminates most unsecured debt while retaining the majority of assets.

·         Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is often thought of as the best form of a loan modification because it allows home owners an opportunity to restructure their debt in a way to keep their home but eliminate some unsecured debt including second mortgages.

·         Short Sale - For those who don't qualify for bankruptcy, yet need relief from their upside down mortgage, selling short may be the best alternative…much better than foreclosure.

·         Combination Chapter 7 & Short Sale Plan – especially if it’s too late to save your home, this may be the best option. Using this plan, we eliminate all of the unsecured debt while you stay in your home as long as legally permissible (sometimes up to 12 months), leave your home without any residual debt or tax consequences, potentially settle any unpaid property taxes through negotiation, immediately eliminates all HOA fee exposure, and even negotiate for client relocation assistance (worth thousands of dollars). The most exciting element in this strategy is to get you back on your feet and to own again in as little as two years.

·         Debt Negotiations – Debt resolution through negotiations can be a viable option for someone not wanting to file for bankruptcy. As one of the largest Bankruptcy law firms in California, we have a useable degree of leverage in negotiating with creditors.    

·         Tax Resolution – we negotiate with the IRS and State Board of Equalization on your behalf to reduce the amount owed and to establish a reasonable payment plan.

 If you or someone you know needs to explore these options, come see us today. The Doctor is in!

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