Creative financing's dark side

Susanna Desborough is facing an embarrassing problem for a real estate agent. She is losing her own home in a foreclosure proceeding. Desborough has been unable to make the $825 monthly payments on the house in the Chatsworth section of Los Angeles, and now is more than $10,000 in arrears. Valley Federal Savings & Loan Association, which holds the mortgage, plans to sell the house next month. Says Desborough: "The situation became like a monster that kept growing."

A record number of people are facing that same beast. The Mortgage...

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