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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Foreclosures Means More Suicides, Study Finds

Posted by on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Phyllis Walsh
  • Courtesy of the Walsh family
  • PHYLLIS WALSH Her body was found on the lawn of her South Seattle home last July.
South Seattle woman Phyllis Walsh shot herself on her front lawn two days before her eviction last year, after she was foreclosed on by US Bank, as I reported. She thought she was in the "middle of a refinance," according to her suicide note.

I've been struck every time I've listened to someone talk about going through foreclosure: They all describe in similar terms how the process hollows out your hopes, how being buried in paperwork and slowly but surely losing one's home makes you feel alone and desperate. Now, a study by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Purdue University confirms that an increase in foreclosures during the past six years drove up the suicide rate:

To search for relationships between foreclosure and suicide rates, the researchers controlled for certain variables like the unemployment rate, and then honed in on intrastate data. … These steps led the researchers to a grim discovery—one that implicates banks’ irresponsible lending practices in more than just the death of middle-class prosperity.

"Our results suggest that the foreclosure crisis significantly contributed to the increase in suicides in the Great Recession," the researchers write in their paper.

A statistically significant within-state foreclosure effect on suicide rates was detected between 2005 and 2010 for two age groups studied—30- to 45-year-olds, and 46- to 64-year-olds. The effect for 30- to 45-year-olds was small. It was vast for those who were still of working age but approaching retirement, helping explain the 18 percent suicide rate among 46- to 64-year-olds. [Dartmouth sociologist Jason] Houle says the findings help explain the puzzling rise in middle-aged suicide rates in a recession-wrecked nation.

In the past year, the Seattle City Council has talked about doing something to stop unethical or illegal foreclosures—but so far, has done nothing.


Comments (7) RSS

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Ballard Pimp 1
There is a fine line between suicide and homicide. If perhaps a few of the defrauded homeowners visited Bank of America or Chase...
Posted by Ballard Pimp on May 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

Puzzling? It's not puzzling....someone over 46 is not going to want to have get a 30 year mortgage and work hard to pay it off even if they still have a higher paying job. They were expecting to coast their way into Social Security. Taking their home away essentially kills them anyway. Maybe that's the point.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 27, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 3
Then there was the Seattle Times article commenting on Wall Street investors buying up cheap houses in Seattle to turn them into rentals. Connect the dots.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on May 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
You mean these?……

But especially chilling here, in the last part:…

" Investors have had an advantage in many markets because they have been able to pay cash and close quickly.

But that could change if the economy improves and mortgages get easier to obtain. Individuals may be able to outbid investors because they can get lower interest rates and aren't as concerned about rate of return."

A rich group of people having a financial interest in keeping other people down. Tell me if that's not familiar.
Posted by themightywoozie on May 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Read about Government Sanctioned Racketeering for the whole story and what can be done about it.
Posted by Sanman on May 28, 2014 at 8:54 AM · Report this
The state legislature has had SIX homeowner bills in front of them and the bankers have crushed each and every one:

2012 Legislature Session:
SB 6199 Sponsor by Senator Pam Roach co-sponsored by Senator Adam Kline
(This bill would ensure that ONLY the bank who is supposed to foreclose, can. Even the most conservative Senator and the most liberal Senator agreed that foreclosing on a home when you are NOT the bank who should, should be a felony! If you stole a car, it's a felony, why would it NOT be a felony to steal a home?)

SB 6070: Sponsored by Senator Adam Kline and co-sponsored by quite a few other Senators.
(This bill would have ensured that if the entity who has a monetary lien on your house, must be registered in the county courthouse in which the property resides. The entity who has the right to foreclose, doesn't even have to enter documents into the land record!)

Posted by GuyFawkes on May 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM · Report this
2014 Legislative Session:
The homeowners put forward FOUR bills: HB 2656, HB 2657, HB 2658, and HB 2659. Yet, the House Judiciary wouldn't open a public hearing on ANY of them! One bill was just needing a ONE-word change. One. Word. The homeowners got bupkiss. AGAIN!

The legislature believes that the Foreclosure Fairness Act, the bill passed that supposedly was to help the homeowner: has assisted approx 2000 +/- homeowners, yet during the same timeframe, there have been 40,000+/- homeowners unlawfully foreclosed upon!
Posted by GuyFawkes on May 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM · Report this

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