Mortgage Mess

With interest rates pushing up monthly bills andáhousing prices cooling, some worried homeownersáare barely hangingáon. Here's how to cope

The end may be just the beginning. After 15 hikes in less than two years, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it has probably finished bumping up interest rates, but for people who borrowed heavily to buy new homes during the recent boom, the damage is done. Those hugely popular adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMS) have always had a catch--the low initial rates last only a year or so--and the new terms are now kicking in for the latest wave of ARM holders.

In many cases, they are watching their monthly mortgage bills jump dramatically, from $1,000 a month to $1,200, for instance,...

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