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A life preserver for underwater homeowners

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Editor's note: Alex Perriello, president and chief executive officer for the Realogy Franchise Group, submitted this guest perspective, which offers a way for homeowners in financial distress to remain in their homes while giving lenders an ownership interest. By ALEX PERRIELLO Depending on the source you choose to believe, there are estimated to be more than 15 million homeowners in this country who owe more than their home is currently worth. Rather than debate what the exact number of "underwater" properties may be, the reality is there were a lot of homebuyers back in 2004-06 who bet that home prices would continue to climb and a host of misguided lenders and investors that were ready and willing to take that wager. The daunting problem facing the housing industry and the general economy today is how to unwind the aftermath of the boom years in a fair and equitable manner. When you consider the dilemma, an underwater homeowner has five choices: 1) bite the bul...