President Reagan used to joke that a recession is when a neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your own.
The housing meltdown has exacted severe pain in the Twin Cities and across the country. Though the federal government has tried to respond with some relief, those steps have not always been enough for homeowners struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure.
The real estate market remains very challenging in most parts of the country. According to the New York Times, 14.6 million homeowners are "underwater" - owing more on their homes than those homes are worth in today's market.