A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A newly constructed home in Westport, Conn., in December. The past three years have been the worst for new housing starts since before record-keeping began, according to economists at IHS Global. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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According to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday, home prices were down 3.4 percent this year as of October — around a 35 percent drop from their peak. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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A counselor (right) talks with a man about training programs at a nonprofit training and job placement center in Menlo Park, Calif. Seventy percent of the long-term unemployed and underemployed would like the government to offer more job training services, an NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Sakuma/AP