If you're unable to pay your mortgage, but you don't want foreclosure, there's a new alternative from the Obama administration.
It's government subsidized short selling.
Akena Better purchased her first home, in Maryland, in 2007, but she lost her job. Akena has spent her savings and drained her 401k, fighting foreclosure.
"For me, I didn't want to have a foreclosure on my credit. It just comes back to haunt you in so many different ways," she said.
It sure does. But many homeowners like Better can't sell and walk away, because they're upside down; their property's value has dropped so far, they owe more than they can sell it for.
President Obama's new program, HAFA, might help. HAFA stands for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives. It pays banks $1,500 and owners $3,000 if they agree to let somebody else buy the house below the mortgage value -- a so-called short sale. The owner walks away debt-free. Lenders get thousands of bad deals settled. Banks like it.
"We're confident that this program's going to facilitate short sales and prevent borrowers from having to go to foreclosure," said Stephen O'Connor, the senior vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Second mortgage holders get up to $6,000 to OK a deal.
"In many cases the second lien holders could say no. I mean they have the right to say no to this, but if they say no and the house goes to foreclosure, they get nothing," said Diana Olick, a CNBC housing reporter.
It's a plan for people like Akena Better to avoid foreclosure. She's already dreaming about buying another home.