When home prices plunged, the stock market crashed, and nationwide hiring froze, many desperate debtors were left destitute, depressed and feeling without hope—all at the height of our recent Great Recession. But fast forward to nearly three years since the recession officially ended, and today many of the most mentally hard-hit Americans are those facing long-term unemployment.
According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, about 9 percent of Americans were defined as clinically depressed in data released last year by the compared to an estimated 6.6 percent in data collected in 2001 and 2002. In the process, many of these depressed men and women have also seen their home foreclosed, vehicles repossessed, relationships fail, and addictive behaviors prevail.
In fact, according to the Washington Post, “With an estimated three-quarters of the 14 million unemployed Americans out of work for more than six months and fully half out of work for more than two years, many jobless Americans are falling into despair as repeated attempts to find work come up short. When people lose their jobs, they often are optimistic as they embark on a search for a new one, according to Ronald Kessler, a professor of health-care policy at Harvard Medical School and an expert on psychiatric disorders and data. But after a while they get worn down and discouraged, and that’s when you start to see the mental health problems. And for the U.S., that time is now.’”
These problems are exacerbated by the particulars of joblessness itself, including the fact that unemployed Americans cannot afford to seek professional help or other mental health services because losing their jobs meant also losing their employer-provided health insurance. “At the same time, federal, state and local governments have cut back on spending for mental health clinics and outreach in response to budget crises spawned by the bad economy.” Without a steady income, few if any people can now afford to put their mental health before the basic needs of food and shelter for themselves and their families.
“You’re 45, 50 years old, you’ve worked hard for the past 25 years, and all of the sudden you’re on the street, or your friends disappear like unemployment is a disease they can catch,” said Joel Sarfati, a counselor for the Washington area’s long-term unemployed told the Washington Post. “As this thing gets more drawn out, we see more and more people fall into a deep funk or dark place.”
With keeping a roof over your head is a priority, and, with millions facing foreclosure in 2011, the potential to lose the security of shelter is real for many Americans.
While a personal bankruptcy will not wipe away your requirement to pay rent or your house note for an apartment or home you intend to keep, it can keep you in your home or apartment and wipe out other debts that might have forced you into eviction in the first place. In the case where your mortgage is untenable, bankruptcy can discharge what you owe, allowing you to walk away from one house to walk into another that you can actually afford.
Long story short? If you’re facing financial woes due to extended unemployment, don’t lose hope. The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to allay your fears and take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.