Homeowners aren't the only ones who undergo challenges and struggles as a result of foreclosure. Their children are also likely to suffer due to the loss of the family home. Of the 2.3 million children who have lost their homes to foreclosure, one out of every 10 have been negatively affected, according to a report released by Julia B. Isaacs, Brookings Institution.
The report also includes statistics citing an additional 3 million children of families who are at risk of foreclosure, as well as 3 million who are relocated due to rental evictions. While foreclosure and relocation can impact children in many different ways, Isaacs specifically addresses the top four:
1. Frequent moves impact a child's grades and school success
2. A diminished parent-child relationship due to financial stress
3. A correlation between increased doctor and emergency room visits and foreclosure rates
4. There is increased crime in areas with foreclosed homes, and a loss of community and social services due to declining tax dollars.
Foreclosures result in relocation, often necessitating a change in schools. Not only do children who change schools need to adjust to a change in housing, but they also need to make new friends. As the report reveals, these children also rank lower in math and reading assessment tests and have a higher likelihood to drop out of school.
The rise in doctor and emergency room visits by children in areas suffering high foreclosure rates indicates a link between their physical and emotional health and their family's instability, either from financial stress, job loss, or distress due to relocation.
Isaacs states that the highest rate of impacted children was seen in Nevada, which not surprisingly, is among the top states in foreclosures, followed by Florida, Arizona, California, and Michigan.
To address the negative impact of foreclosure among children, the Brookings Institution report supports increased loan modifications to keep families in their homes and reductions in mortgage principals. They also recommend revisions to the servicing standards for mortgages and an amendment that would give bankruptcy judges the ability to modify mortgages.
The report also lends support to McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth and similar programs that give schools support and resources to help reduce the dropout rate of homeless children and increase their success in schools.
If you are a family facing foreclosure, it is important to become your own best advocate. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to navigate the red-tape of the loan modification process to save your home. If you know you can make a reasonable payment, keep fighting!
Anna Cuevas, known as "America's Loan Modification Guru," has guided thousands of Americans in keeping their homes from foreclosure. A popular blogger (askaloanmodguru.com), Cuevas has been called a "superhero of the loan modification industry" and has been nominated for CNN's Heroes. She is the #1 bestselling author of SAVE YOUR HOME Without Losing Your Mind or Money.