By Kate Ashford
The numbers are staggering: A quarter of U.S. homeowners currently owe more on their home than it's worth, 14.6 million people are unemployed, and the stock market lost 50 percent of its value last spring, causing the retirement accounts of millions to nosedive. Meet three families who faced tough financial times and came out the other side, and find out how you can too.
"I was unemployed for months-without much in savings."
Marcia Delgadillo, 48, had been the sole wage earner when she was laid off from her marketing job in January 2009. Her husband, Holvis, was in grad school full-time; if he'd dropped out to look for a job, it would have sent him back to square one. "In his program, he couldn't just pick up where he left off," says Marcia. With two kids, ages 12 and 14, times were lean. So the Delgadillos, who live in Richmond, California, cut expenses and tapped an existing home equity line of credit (HELOC) to bridge the gap. "We maxed it out," says Marcia.Read More »from Tips for Dealing with Three Major Financial Crises