Can you recommend a company specializing in mortgage modifications?
No, we're not in a position to do that. You should know that "loan mod scammers" are everywhere; before you consider even talking to one you should read this warning from the FTC: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea16.shtm
After that, why not check out the new site from Fannie Mae --
http://www.knowyouroptions.com/ -- which will help guide you through the process... including ways to get in touch with HUD-backed housing counselors who can help.
Also, there's always http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov - the original location to find help and resources.
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How long do I have to own or live in my home to qualify for the capital gains tax exclusion when I sell?You can exclude capital gains on the sale of your primary residence if you meet the IRS's ownership and use requirements.
10 metros where a home costs about $1,000/monthHSH.com identifies 10 metro areas where you can afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home for only around $1,000 per month.