About one-quarter of Americans who have mortgages are underwater, meaning 11 million to 15 million people owe more money than their homes are worth. Let me introduce you to one of them: me. When the housing crisis started to break in 2007, I felt pretty safe. I was newly separated and had refinanced my home in the Denver suburbs with a run-of-the-mill, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. I lived in a nice cul-de-sac where adults took pride in their homes and kids and dogs ran in the streets.