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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. "People who serve this country can't have the same American Dream as the 'normal' American family," said Hernandez. "They're reasoning, ...