Andrew Lowenthal (left) receives his $50 gift card from Red Velvet Cupcakery employee Lauren Knight at the company's store in Washington, D.C. More than 2,000 customers purchased the cards for $25 through a deal with LivingSocial. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Foreclosure activity was up in July, but the numbers were better than at this time last year. hide caption

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Atlantic City is taking a gamble that firing some of its city workers will shore up its deficit. Economists say cuts by state and local governments are creating a drag on the economy. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are quickly becoming the most expensive part of the financial meltdown. As of April, the two companies were sitting on more than 160,000 foreclosed homes. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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The city incinerator in Harrisburg, Pa., is almost $300 million in debt. And because the city backed the Harrisburg Authority, which owns the facility, it is responsible for the $68 million bill this year. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Following an interfaith service in Grand Isle, La., people gather at a berm overlooking the ocean and hold hands. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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After oysterman Mitch Jurisich spotted oil earlier this week in Bayou La Chute, wildlife officials told him he had to close his beds. He says he's never wanted to do anything else -- but this may be the end. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tamara Keith/NPR