Lobsterman Genevieve Kurilec holds a lobster caught while fishing along Deer Isle, Maine. Kurilec says more women are beginning to captain their own lobster boats. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Sara Millan (left) thanks Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks after NACA was able to reduce her family's mortgage during an event in Los Angeles in September 2010. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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As lobster prices plunge, scallops offer fishermen an alternative to make money. Levi Bridges for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Levi Bridges for NPR

Many experts say reducing mortgage principal can help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. But the regulator who oversees two of the nation's largest mortgage holders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has rejected the idea. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Created by the federal government during the Great Depression, Fannie Mae became a Washington powerhouse: a highly profitable, private company, protected by the government and boasting huge lobbying clout. But today, Fannie Mae has essentially become a ward of the state. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The housing market is finally showing signs of a comeback, according to an annual study from Harvard. But, though mortgage interest rates are at record lows, banks are often too cautious to lend. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Srinivas Konanki and his wife own a small laboratory device company near Boston. Concerns about the economy have left them wary of hiring new employees. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Nationwide, home sales are up, mortgage rates are down and in many places, owning a home is as attractive as renting for the first time in years. Chris O'Meara/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Chris O'Meara/AP

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership rates got even closer to pre-housing boom numbers in the first quarter of 2012. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Renzo Salazar maintains the yard around a foreclosed house in Miami after the bank hired him to keep the home from falling into complete dilapidation. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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A pre-foreclosure sign is seen in front of a home in Miami. Supporters of a plan to reduce the principals owed by many homeowners facing foreclosure say it would prevent larger losses and keep people in their homes. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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David Butler and one of his safer tools. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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A Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage services representative (left) helps a person register for mortgage help in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Trader Peter Tuchman reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 13. That same day, the Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since 2007. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Apple's store in New York City's Grand Central station employs about 315 people. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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