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Home-loss horror stories

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By ALICIA HOWE Maria Ester lost her home in Romeoville, Ill., in June 2007. After her husband left her and she lost her job, Ester moved into a house she could afford and put her belongings into storage. "Since then, I've lived in three different places, and I'm moving again because no one will sign me a lease longer than six months," Ester said. To prevent foreclosure, Ester said she first tried refinancing the home but was still unable to make the mortgage payments. She said she worked out a deal with a lawyer, but without fully understanding the situation -- she received foreclosure papers 30 days later. "I hired new lawyers once I got the papers, to help me fight," she said, to no avail. She is not alone, though that may not offer much comfort. The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit research and policy organization that advocates for preserving homeownership, projects a total of 2.4 million foreclosures in 2009 and 9 million from 2009-12 ...