A study of homeowners found that home debt is directly related to poor mental health.
University of Pennsylvania researchers said those who are underwater on their mortgage experience more symptoms of psychological distress than homeowners with ample equity in their homes.
“Distressed homeowners whose health is impaired may face particular challenges as they attempt to improve their financial situations,” nursing professor Terri Lipman, senior author of the study, wrote in the journal Nursing Outlook.
The study was based on a 2008 Internet survey of close to 800 residents in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida.
Psychological counseling should be provided, in addition to financial counseling, in courthouses, lenders’ offices, and anywhere else the vulnerable population exists, researchers concluded.
“The unprecedented volume of mortgage defaults and foreclosures represents an important and under-recognized population health issue,” according to the study. Further, people having financial problems because of their mortgage might not be able to afford proper healthcare.