According to a University of Colorado Denver study, there is a direct link between an increased risk of death and financial strain. The results of this study were published recently by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The three economists who produced the study found that higher individual mortality risks were higher for those suffering with severe delinquent debt and bad credit. This would make sense considering that we have known for years that stress can affect ones health.
This study found that those who find themselves in debt quickly rather than over a long period of time are the ones more likely to die. Debts resulting from a financial crisis, such as the Great Recession, the housing crisis of our generation, “has… lasting effects on health that are substantial enough to increase mortality rates” stated one of the economists, Laura Argys.
Financially Troubled Married Couple Commits Suicide
A couple of months ago, a national news story highlighted a married couple in their 60’s that both jumped to their deaths from a parking garage in Las Vegas. The news story highlighted the financial difficulties this couple was facing and that those likely led to their decision to commit suicide. The couple had recently been sued by a neighbor that loaned them money and were facing foreclosure of their home. The fact that this couple chose suicide was heartbreaking to me and I am sure many others who heard this story. I realize that bankruptcy has a negative connotation for some people but suicide is not the answer. A bankruptcy consultation is free at our firm and with most bankruptcy law offices so there are no consequences in just going in to talk with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. If you are feeling there is no way out, please know that you are not alone.
Improving Your Credit Score Improves Mortality Rate
The study also found that when an individual’s credit score increased by 100 points or more their mortality risk would decline by over 4 percent. For those in debt and may be facing the higher mortality rates, this is good news because bankruptcy could help you receive a financial fresh start to enable you to start rebuilding your credit, thereby, eventually increasing your credit score. Although a bankruptcy filing can take up to ten years to fall off your credit report, this does not mean that you cannot rebuild your credit once your receive your discharge. In fact, some chapter 7 clients receive credit offers from auto dealers almost immediately after filing bankruptcy.
Almost every client that I represent who files bankruptcy always says the same thing after they sign their petition and that phrase is “I feel better already”. I have counseled many who are in tears because they feel the weight of the world because of their debt. Bankruptcy is a way to take control of your finances on your terms instead of a creditors. You decide what you want to keep and what you are willing to let go of. I do not make that statement lightly, I realize how hard a decision can be to decide to let your home or vehicle go back. However, this particular study really helps to quantify that your life expectancy can be effected by your financial burdens. No home or car is worth keeping if you cannot be here to enjoy them with your loved ones. Your children, spouse and loved ones would prefer you instead of any material item you are struggling to keep.
Please if you are feeling the stress from your finances or have thought there is no way out, please call your local Bond & Botes office today for a free consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. There are no obligations from this free consultation. The decision to file bankruptcy is always yours to make. If you still feel there is no way out and are considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.