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Nolo.com Adds Up the Emotional Costs of Foreclosure With the Five Stages of Foreclosure Grief
Date:4/17/2008

ile losing your home can be traumatic, avoiding the reality won't help your state of mind.

Anger. "When it finally dawns on homeowners that they might actually lose their house, they become angry -- with themselves, their spouse, or the lender," says Elias. "After all, it must be someone's fault that they signed a variable interest note that would reset much higher in a year or two, or that they bought a house they obviously couldn't afford."

Bargaining. Anger gives way to negotiation. People may try to strike a bargain with God -- "please just let me keep my house, and I'll get a better job and work harder and be a better person. ..."

Depression. As the foreclosure proceeds with no solution in sight, it's natural to be unhappy and feel insecure. They may feel that things are hopeless -- and so miss out on opportunities to fight the foreclosure or make the best financial decisions given the circumstances.

Acceptance. A homeowner who accepts the situation, and can move beyond denial, anger, and depression, can take steps to fix things. Even people who are behind on the mortgage may be able to keep their houses. Their first step should be to call a free, nonprofit foreclosure counselor, approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for help in working something out with the lender. You can find a HUD-approved agency at http://www.hud.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm or by calling 800-569-4287. (Nolo's Bankruptcy Resource Center) has helpful articles on a variety of situations related to foreclosure. Additionally, bankruptcy or real estate attorneys may be able to offer creative solutions to keep people in their homes. Information about local attorneys can often be found through Nolo's new, free Lawyer Directory, which provides profiles of local lawyers (nolo.com).

Psychologists use a term called "radical acceptance," says Dr. Wood. "You don't have to li
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SOURCE Nolo.com
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