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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How large of a financial catastrophe would it take to leave you homeless, and how quick would homelessness occur?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) June 23rd, 2015

Things are going OK, then BAM! Something happens, and you now cannot pay the rent, mortgage, property taxes, etc. What would financially be so devastating it would take you down like the Challenger space shuttle? You get a severe medical condition not covered by insurance? You get sued and lose? You get injured severe enough you wipe out your workers comp (if you even get any), your saving, insurance, etc.? How quick after that would you be booted from your home, a month, 6 months, last a year, maybe more?

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15 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

It wouldn’t take much, sadly.

filmfann's avatar

My house is paid for. I have medical insurance, and a lot of money in the bank.
That said, I would never challenge fate. It could all go bad easily.

jerv's avatar

I’m hanging on by my fingernails as is.

I’ve been out of work for a few months now, disability is tied up in red tape, savings are gone, and since my wife only earns enough to cover the rent (but not utilities) the only reason we can eat is because of food stamps, and the only reason we have electricity to keep that food from spoiling is due to other low-income assistance. All that on top of medical expenses in the five-figure range even after insurance, it wouldn’t take much. Not much at all.

The real sad part is that I’m in a better position than tens of millions of Americans in that I was in a position where I could fall as far as I have and still have a fingernail grip; many people in my circumstances would’ve been wiped out by now and would already be sitting on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign.

JLeslie's avatar

It can happen to almost anyone. Unless you happen to be a multimillionaire twice over.

If the only thing that went wrong was we lost our jobs (which basically the situation I am in now, because my husband list his job two months ago and I make very little money) it would take a few years to run out of money and lose my house. I would be selling my house before I lost it. That’s assuming someone will buy it. Like I said if the only bad thing was losing our jobs.

If we lost our jobs, the housing market turned down, and I had steep medical expenses then everything would fall apart faster.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I’m in the same boat as @filmfann except I have Health care, so don’t really know and never want to find out.

jca's avatar

I have a bunch tied up in deferred comp and other places, so it would take a while. I also have friends and family who would help me out, I know. I would and could also stay with my parents if I had to.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It isn’t the loss of the property that I dwell over. I must anticipate the arrival of the day when I can no longer function independently within the house.

longgone's avatar

The German government would have to collapse or, at the very least, suffer dramatic changes. I live in an apartment I could pay for with unemployment benefits.

Stinley's avatar

It would have to be a situation where neither my husband nor I could work. We would have to be incapacitated or have both done something illegal which would prevent us from getting another job. We could always get another job otherwise – might not be ideal but would pay the bills.

If we couldn’t work, we would probably have to sell our house and move into rented accommodation. We would be housed by our local council. We would receive disability benefits or unemployment benefits. We would be ok – some hard budgeting but bills would be paid by the money from the state. All our medical needs would be met by the NHS, which is free at point of use.

This is why I like living in a country with a welfare state.

DominicY's avatar

Unfortunately I live in an area known for being pricey and my rent is pretty high; if I lost my job and didn’t find a new one within a few months, I’d be out of there pretty quickly. Of course my parents would let me come home, so I wouldn’t be “homeless”, but I’d hate to not be able to pay rent anymore.

Coloma's avatar

Heh….well, I went from foot loose and fancy free, doing great, work I loved, nice little home on a 5 acre property, and a decent nest egg to flat on my face and teetering on the verge of homelessness in a 3 year span between early 2010 and early 2013. My business tanked along with the economy, I was forced to live off my savings while seeking new employment, taking any temp jobs I could find which were few and far between and facing 100’s of inquiries and applications and many hopeful moments only to be dashed on the rocks of rejection, or never hearing back after feeling confident I had a good chance of landing the position. Being over 50 and out of work is a brutality unsurpassed.
Suffice it to say, without writing a novel here that I am still in process of filing bankruptcy for the first time in the history of my life, and am living with friends on their large property at this time as an all around assistant as they travel a lot and need help in many areas.

I am trying to save money but the bottom line is I am fucked, and fucked but good at this stage of the life game. From perfect credit, perfect payment history, independence, to a state of insolvency and bankruptcy and considering gassing myself with a Hibachi duct taped in the bathroom this past few years. I am living one day at a time and will cross the bridges necessary when I come to them, or, jump off of one. lol

Pachy's avatar

Even with my insurance, a major illness would probably do in my savings, but doubt I’d ever be homeless. Ever hear the expression, Elephant in the Room?

johnpowell's avatar

I could make it a few years without any income. But my rent + utilities is 400 a month and I like spaghetti. I think I could get by on 500 a month if I had to.

But I would probably go back to live with my mom before I had to dip into savings. She has a spare room and the house is paid for and her Social Security covers all taxes and household crap there.

ucme's avatar

Secure as fuck #loaded

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