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Real estate foreclosures on the upswing?

Economy, lending practices add to loss of homes

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Dawn Lamb watches in frustration as a friend of hers earns $2,500 a month, with her mortgage payment taking up $1,900 of that. Her car payment is another $300, leaving her with $300 to pay for everything else. Lamb's friend defaulted on her car insurance, and now is in danger of losing her car. If that happens, she won't be able to get to work and likely will lose her job. "It's just terrible, the situation she's in," said Lamb, a loan officer with Hilltop Financial Mortgage in Sacramento, Calif. "She doesn't want to sell her house because she feels like that's her house. That's probably the only other option she has at this point." Lamb believes her friend got into the situation because a real estate agent who helped her through the process advised her to use her potential, not actual, income to qualify for a mortgage. Lamb, who didn't handle her friend's loan, said she's seeing more and more people have a difficult time making their mortgage payments. More than half–57 percen...