Q: I have an option ARM mortgage and a home equity line of credit. Between the two, I owe about $300,000 more than my home is currently worth. Even so, I would still be willing to keep my home, and I have applied for a loan modification. However, it looks like the modified payment on my home will still be very high — I can try to scrape to afford it, but if the economy and business gets any worse, I’ll end up back in trouble. I wonder if I should give up on all these efforts to try to keep my home at any cost and try to do a short sale. What are your thoughts?

A: In many ways, this current phase of the housing market has been like a reset button on the market. Every day I get e-mails from homeowners who are considering simply "walking away" from their homes, without making any effort to discuss modification or short sale with their lenders.

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