Very encouraging article in Reuters today about how quickly some “victims” of financial failure have been able to turn their lives around and buy a new home after a short sale. Actual statistics are not yet available nor can an exact amount of recovery time be quantified, but if you are facing a no win situation of declining income or other hardship and a mortgage payment which is beyond your ability to sustain over the long run, YOU NEED COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING NOW. Don’t let yourself be a victim and just react to the blows of this economy. Get professional help that focuses on the longer view and plan a realistic outcome for the next 5 to 10 years of your life. Continuing to deplete your savings and retirement to save a house that is upside down is almost always your worst alternative. Taking quick and proactive steps to eliminate the cause of your negative cash flow is almost always your best alternative. Procrastination will reduce your chances of being able to recover your credit and delay the return to homeownership. Many homeowners are so crushed by their oppressive financial mortgage pressures that they just assume renting would be easier. But the economic trends have not been kind to former homeowners in this regard. Nationwide, there are now millions of “new renters” who were formerly homeowners and they are driving up the average cost of residential rent. Banks have reported a whopping 45% increase in lending for “multifamily” (think rental units) in the first quarter of 2012 over 2011. Until these new units help to meet growing demand for rental properties, expect rents to remain relatively high. Now, more than ever, struggling homeowners need to evaluate all options carefully and with professional guidance. This article in Reuters is much appreciated as a “carrot” to those who orchestrate their transition through short sale or other legal means.