Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica

A new directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will allow first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 percent. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR

Gary Klein is one of the lead attorneys representing homeowners in the case against Ocwen Financial. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks is offering the first batch of these "wealth building home loans" to homebuyers through his nonprofit organization. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Damian Dovarganes/AP

Conrad Goetzinger and Cassandra Rose struggle to pay their bills as $760 is garnished from their paychecks every two weeks by debt collectors. Twice, Goetzinger's bank account has been emptied by collectors after he failed to payoff a loan for a laptop. Eric Francis/AP for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Francis/AP for ProPublica

Kevin Evans relaxes in his small apartment after arriving home from work. Evans, who lost income and his home in the recession, is now having his wages garnished after falling behind on his credit card payments. Colin E. Braley/AP for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Colin E. Braley/AP for ProPublica

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says many homeowners who could qualify to refinance their mortgages under HARP are suspicious. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP