Mortgage Time Bomb

Susan, a legal secretary, is barely hanging on. A 35-year-old single mother of three, she is four months behind on her $640 mortgage payment. The reason: Her ex-husband landed in jail earlier this year for repeated driving offenses. That cut off child-support payments that amounted to almost half her income. Now that her husband is scheduled to be released, she is hoping her bank will give her a little more time to come up with back payments. "I just couldn't make it on my income," she says.

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