Nearly a third of U.S. homeowners have been stuck with houses worth less than they paid and ended up over their heads in debt with mortgages that borrowers often could not refinance because they had no equity. Studies show that recessions resulting from major financial collapses, such as the monumental housing bust and banking crisis of October 2008, usually have slow and difficult recoveries.

Photo by: Tony Dejak

Nearly a third of U.S. homeowners have been stuck with houses worth less than they paid and ended up over their heads in debt with mortgages that borrowers often could not refinance because they had no equity. Studies show that recessions resulting from major financial collapses, such as the monumental housing bust and banking crisis of October 2008, usually have slow and difficult recoveries.