ADRIAN SAINZ

You've heard about the bad mortgages, about sad struggles with insolvency, about the wave of foreclosures that has crashed over America.

But what happens next?

Every day, thousands of Americans begin their lives again after they are ejected from their homes.

They rent, live with friends or family, or seek refuge in a shelter. They usually have stacks of overdue bills, empty savings accounts, and a red flag on their credit reports that will take years to fade. They often suffer from feelings of shame, failure and displacement.

The Housers, the Melendezes, the Gambinos, the Boykins ¿ four families from different backgrounds and different states ¿ are all enduring the same life smack-down.

They've all lost their homes within the past year. They've learned lessons and changed behaviors. They've opened new doors after their front doors closed, turned to social programs that helped or let them slip through a crack.

They all seek happily ever-after endings. But there are no guarantees.

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