Every day, more and more Americans click into a decidedly post-recession state of mind. Whether or not they’re still unemployed or upside-down, ever-increasing numbers of us have grown tired of being down and depressed and decided to do whatever it takes to get back on our feet and back into the flow of life — it’s so short, after all.

Fortunately, the real estate market seems to be flowing in that same direction: Millions of Americans have seen their underwater mortgages dry out this year, due to nothing more than increased buyer demand, which, in turn, increased home values. But millions more still owe more than their homes are worth — and many more than that are still dealing with the financial and emotional trauma of struggling to make the mortgage payment, tussling with their banks over loan modification requests, a past foreclosure or short sale, or even recession-created fears around buying a home, or selling and locking in losses.

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