Foreclosure's Effect on Children - Total Bankruptcy
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Foreclosure and Childhood Behavior and Learning

A recent report released by advocacy group First Focus, which pushes for policy decisions based on the best interests of the nation's children, highlights some of the less-publicized effects of the current foreclosure crisis. The report, which cites a number of studies, offers some troublesome numbers and may serve as a push for many families to file Chapter 13 to avoid mortgage foreclosure.

The report notes that the Center for Responsible Lending has estimated that 2.26 million homes with subprime mortgages will go into foreclosure in coming months, which comes to about 20% of all subprime mortgages originated in the past two years. First Focus used this number to estimate the number of children likely to be affected by the crisis, based on demographics and census records.

But even First Focus's projection of two million kids losing their homes to foreclosure could prove low - the CRL's numbers include only subprime mortgages, not prime mortgages and rental properties that could also be foreclosed upon.

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Whatever the exact number, though, the problem is unarguably widespread. And the consequences are serious. First Focus gathered statistics pointing to a link between homelessness (as from foreclosure) and behavioral and academic problems at school. Take a look at these numbers:

  • Students whose families move two or more times in a year are half as likely to be proficient readers as their stable peers.
  • Highly mobile third graders are twice as likely to perform below their grade level in math as those who don't move as often.
  • School-age kids who move homes frequently are 2.5 times more likely to repeat a grade than those who stay put.
  • Frequent moves leave students 50% less likely to graduate than stable children.
  • Students whose housing situation changes often are 77% more likely to have four or more behavioral problems than those who have more stable home lives.
  • Kids who attend many elementary schools are 20% more likely to be violent in high school than those who attend only one.

Naturally, moving can disrupt a child's education. But when multiple moves occur during the course of a school year, students can be distracted, unsettled and confused. Unfortunately, your financial struggles today could have a serious impact on the future success of your children.

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows many families to halt foreclosure proceedings and reorganize debts. A bankruptcy filing will also halt other collection action and can give you and your family some peace while you work out how to move forward.

If you're ready to take steps to protect your children from the potentially damaging effects of foreclosure, don't hesitate to contact a bankruptcy lawyer today. A local bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is the right option to help you and your family stop foreclosure.

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