No house is worth dying for
The US foreclosure crisis contributed to the nation’s jump in suicides, independent of other economic factors associated with the Great Recession.
People form attachments to many things, and these attachments are the source of most suffering. I recently lost a $300 laser distance finder I use to play golf; I was so upset that I couldn’t concentrate on my game for a few holes, but I got over it and accepted my loss. I was attached to that item, and losing it caused me to suffer. We’ve all experienced the grief of losing something we value, but the suffering caused by these attachments can sometimes be extreme.
Ownership is a primal form of attachment, and becoming attached to your shelter is a common and understandable reaction. When people lose their homes in a fire, it’s devastating because they lose both their house and all their personal possessions inside. Most people get over the loss of a house, but some people have great difficulty accepting the loss, and they take the most extreme measure imaginable: they commit suicide.
Date: May 16, 2014, Source: Dartmouth College
Summary: The recent US foreclosure crisis contributed significantly to the nation’s jump in suicides, independent of other economic factors associated with the Great Recession, according to a study. The study is the first to ever show a correlation between foreclosure and suicide rates. The authors analyzed state-level foreclosure and suicide rates from 2005 to 2010. During that period, the U.S. suicide rate increased nearly 13 percent, and annual home foreclosures hit a record 2.9 million (in 2010).
The recent U.S. foreclosure crisis contributed significantly to the nation’s jump in suicides, independent of other economic factors associated with the Great Recession, …
The authors analyzed state-level foreclosure and suicide rates from 2005 to 2010. During that period, the U.S. suicide rate increased nearly 13 percent, and annual home foreclosures hit a record 2.9 million (in 2010).
“It seems that foreclosures affect suicide rates in two ways,” said co-author Jason Houle, assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. “The loss of a home clearly impacts individuals and families, and can arouse feelings of loss, shame, or regret. At the same time, rising foreclosure rates affect entire communities because they’re associated with a number of community level resources and stresses, including an increase in crime, abandoned homes, and a sense of insecurity.”
The effects of foreclosures on suicides were strongest among adults 46 to 64 years old, who also experienced the highest increase in suicide rates during the recessionary period.
“Foreclosures are a unique suicide risk among the middle-aged,” Houle said. “Middle-aged adults are more likely to own homes and have a higher risk of home foreclosure. They’re also nearing retirement age, so losing assets at that stage in life is likely to have a profound effect on mental health and well-being.”
That is the ultimate unceremonious fall from entitlement. Is a house really worth dying for? Is the loss of entitlement so hard to accept that people would chose death rather than face a lifestyle with less stuff?
Perhaps I’ve never had enough stuff to get that attached, but I can’t understand committing suicide over losing possession of assets.
It’s hard enough accepting the loss of a house through foreclosure, but most people know deep down that it was their own fault. They generally borrowed too much or took on too much risk to handle the payments. Even those that suffered loss of income during the recession were offered loan modifications so banks could kick the can until values came back. But can you imagine how painful it is to lose the house when you were cheated?
05/27/2014 10:28 AM
It is a costly lesson to learn. When choosing a mortgage company, be careful which one your choose. One unscrupulous company and its owner scammed victims out of their home and into foreclosure.
This rural home is at the heart of a mortgage fraud scandal that left a family homeless and landed one man behind bars.
The family isn’t homeless; they moved into a rental. They are rightfully pissed off, but at least they didn’t commit suicide over it.
Dan Taylor, US Postal Inspector, explained, “Jay Dunlap ran a mortgage company that specialized in dealing with people that had poor credit.”
In fact, many of his clients had been denied real estate loans in the past. Postal inspectors say he used this to his advantage.
“He was generally contacting people that were desperate for whatever they could get to try and save their homes,” said Taylor.
His offer to clients: he would buy their house from them for a year. They would essentially pay him rent.
“After a year they would be able to buy the house back and then have better credit and qualify for a regular loan,” Taylor said.
But once Dunlap took posession of the house, he took out several equity loans.
What an asshole.
“Dunlap took these loans against the property in the belief that the victims would never come up with the cash to try to repurchase the home,” Taylor explained.
But in this case – victims tried to buy their homes back and quickly realized…
“He took their money, deposited it, spent it but never actually transferred the title back to the victims,” Taylor continued.
Dunlap stopped paying on the equity loans. Banks foreclosed on the property.
What? They didn’t offer a loan modification?
“Ultimately the victims were foreclosed on and had to move out of the house,” said Taylor.
Postal inspectors say it is possible more victims exist. They also warn anyone seeking a mortgage to do your research carefully.
“Be very careful who you are dealing with… check references, check licensing, things along those lines,” Taylor warned.
Jay Dunlap was sentenced to five years in prison on bank and wire fraud. He was also ordered to pay almost $350,000 in restitution.
Check references on people in real estate and mortgage lending? That would eliminate about 90% of the field….