Rick Sharga: Is this the end of the housing recovery?

Rick Sharga: Is this the end of the housing recovery?

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Short sales grow as a cheaper alternative to foreclosure

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Nineteen months ago, the recession took Bob Walker's job. Then, creditors lined up to take the three-bedroom hilltop home that the computer consultant shared with his wife, Stephanie, a playwright still looking for her first break. Avoiding the stigma and financial fallout of foreclosure became an obsession for the Walkers. They talked to the banks, found multiple jobs, put their Silver Lake house on the market and tried to stitch together a plan to repay their debts. Finally, they turned to a short sale, chronicled in a popular blog: Love in the Time of Foreclosure. "We really thought that, worst-case scenario, we will sell the house and break even," Stephanie Walker said. "But it didn't work. We went into great losses."

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