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Bill Foster

Some homeowners miss out on housing recovery

Some homeowners miss out on housing recovery

Scott and Caroline Schmauderer know all the acronyms and the nitty-gritty details of the federal government's various programs to help homeowners like themselves, whose plans were derailed by the housing bust.

They read up on loan modifications, but they aren't behind on their mortgage payments, so they don't qualify for one.

They rattle off the requirements of the federal government's refinancing program, but their loan isn't owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, so again they don't qualify.

The couple's final hope came last year, when they tried to sell their Lake in the Hills town house for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, a well-worn strategy known as a short...