A woman walks past a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage office in La Habra, Calif. Many mortgage brokers say the Federal Reserve's new rules favor big banks. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jae C. Hong/AP

A foreclosed house for sale in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich. Carlos Osorio/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carlos Osorio/AP

The cooling towers of Three Mile Island's Unit 1 plant pour steam into the sky in Middletown, Pa. In 1979, Three Mile Island's Unit 2 nuclear power plant was the scene of the nation's worst commercial nuclear accident. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Joe Pelton operates a computer-controlled machine that drills a tiny hole into a needle that is used to make microchips. He works at AccuRounds, an advanced manufacturing facility in Avon, Mass. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, testifies before Congress. He will step down from his position in March. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, testifies before Congress. He will step down from his position in March. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Real estate professionals worry that cutting the mortgage tax deduction could put a damper on homeownership. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP

The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

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Faulty paperwork on millions of outstanding mortgages may push banks to work out alternatives to keep more people in their homes. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Sakuma/AP

Brothers Michael (left) and Timothy Martens inspect copper machine parts on the factory floor of M&H Engineering. The company has hired back some workers who were laid off during the recession. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Rachel Keyser and her daughter, Sydney, stand in front of their house in Deerfield, N.H. Since falling prey to a mortgage scam in 2004, Keyser has faced repeated attempts to foreclose on the house. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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The Custom Group trains workers at its school to use many of the latest high-tech machines. But for simple tasks, workers still use some of the original equipment from 1969, when the company started. Chris Arnold /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Arnold /NPR

A homeowner fills out a form to request mortgage information at a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center in Culver City, Calif. Politicians and economists are debating the merits of a grand plan to offer many homeowners the opportunity to refinance. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Damian Dovarganes/AP

Charles Gibson and his wife, Michelle, are helped by a Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America staff member in getting a reduction on their loan for their Riverside, Calif., home. Some economists are pushing for a plan that would streamline refinancing for all government-backed loans. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Damian Dovarganes/AP