New data suggests that as many as one in every 10 children in the U.S. has been or will be affected by the current foreclosure crisis. In hard-hit housing regions like Atlanta, the effects could be even more far-reaching.
According to USA Today, an estimated 2.3 million kids were residents in homes lost to foreclosure - and another 3 million are on the path to foreclosure because their parents are delinquent on payments.
The data was taken from home loans made between 2004 and 2008. Because it doesn't take into account mortgages made outside that time frame, actual numbers are likely to be even higher.
While the media tends to focus on struggling homeowners, the children of homeowners often have it even harder. Stability and security are important factors in a child's emotional well-being, and foreclosure disrupts that, according to the article.
Kids who move as a result of foreclosure suffer a drop in reading and math scores equivalent to declines seen by children who miss a month of classes. Students who move frequently are twice as likely to drop out before graduation.
Back in 2008, USA Today took a look at the toll losing a home can take on kids and teens.
Children of distressed homeowners may be more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, experience feelings of anxiety and shame, and suffer from health problems due to a lack of health insurance.
In addition, many children are also affected by their parents' emotional struggles. Foreclosure is a leading contributor to depression and divorce.
Often times, financial struggles are out of our control. Unfortunately, they can have a lasting effect on the livelihoods of our children. Many families are managing to maintain a stable home for their kids by filing for Atlanta bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 has the ability to legally stop foreclosure proceedings and other collection activities, providing families with much-needed time to reorganize debt. After a successful repayment period, remaining debts can often be eliminated.
In March, our Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorney Blog reported that more residents in Georgia are living close to the financial edge than those in any other U.S. state. If financial troubles and potential foreclosure are threatening the well-being of your family, an Atlanta bankruptcy lawyer can help determine if bankruptcy protection is an option.
More Blog Entries:
Credit Card Debt Takes a Toll on Marriage for Many Atlanta Couples: February 6, 2012
Report Estimates 8 Million Children Hurt by Foreclosures, by Julie Schmit, USA Today
Foreclosures' Financial Strains Take Toll on Kids, by Stephanie Armour, USA Today