Some would call them lucky because there's still a roof over their heads. But their sacrifices ---- job opportunities, compromised college choices, savings and everyday niceties ---- hurt their longer-term financial stability and the strength of the economic recovery.
The Obama administration last week launched a program that encourages lenders to offer these "underwater" borrowers a refinanced loan backed by the government. The new terms will forgive at least 10 percent of the original loan amount. Officials expect the program to help from 500,000 to 1.5 million homeowners.