InsuranceNetNews reports an article in the American Journal of Public Health describes a Health and Retirement Study that concludes there is a relationship between mortgage delinquency and ill health. The 2006-2008 study of persons 50 and older found because people so identify with their homes, the potential loss of the home and the often concurrent financial strain can easily lead to poor diet, mental anguish, and lack of access to health care. Clients of a mortgage counseling agency in Philadelphia undergoing foreclosure were found to have higher occurrences of depression, hypertension, and heart disease, as well as limited access to medical resources. Another cross-sectional study in the four states with the highest numbers of foreclosures in 2008 also concluded homeowners in default or foreclosure had markedly more health-related problems than non-delinquent homeowners or renters. The study suggests that mortgage assistance counseling services could be bundled with behavioral and mental health screening, referral, and counseling to support homeowners at risk for default and foreclosure.
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