Military families battle real estate distress

People in Real Estate: Jennifer Hernandez

Real estate agent Jennifer Hernandez knows about the squeeze that military families, faced with a transfer to a new place of duty, are feeling these days because the homes they bought during the housing boom are "upside-down" — worth less than the balance owed on their mortgages.

These families don’t have the option of just staying put — a service member can’t just say "no thanks" to a change of station, as it’s known in the military — so they face the prospect of a short sale or foreclosure because a normal sale probably wouldn’t yield enough to pay off their loans.

Hernandez hears their stories. She advises them of their options. But she’s more than just a sympathetic professional: She’s in the same boat.

And she’d like to get the word out that this is a widespread problem for military families today.