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The Internal Costs of Foreclosure: A Qualitative Study Exploring Issues of Trust, Insecurity, and Self in the Face of Foreclosure Open Access

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Since 2006, more than a million Americans lost their home to foreclosure and millions more are currently at risk of the same. Loan failures not only affect opportunities for establishing wealth, but they also entail severe social and psychological effects beyond the immediate financial housing costs. The objective of this study is to qualitatively explore the experiences and sentiments of those who have or are experiencing mortgage delinquency, default, or the risk of foreclosure within a broader framework of trust, individualization, and ontological security. Interviews examine families' justifications for purchasing a home, their lending experience, and how they have coped with their personal troubles that have resulted from their housing crisis. As many of these loans were of a deceptive or predatory nature, individuals are likely to reflect on the psychological consequences of their predicament. Although, these findings suggest that these individuals have lost trust in the housing market, many have internalized their situation as a personal failure. In addition, feelings of anxiety, stress, insecurity, and uncertainty have come to characterize their experiences. This research will inform policy-makers of the special needs and concerns of those at risk of foreclosure. For confidence to be restored in the housing market and the economy in general it is imperative that these issues be addressed.

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