With friends like these: Homeowners not finding lenders very helpful

The New York Times profiles a woman in Mesa, Ariz.,

who is having a hard time making her mortgage payments since she lost her job as an executive assistant at a local university.

"Ms. Ulery is among that unhappy cohort -- her house is worth about $122,000, and she owes $143,000 -- but walking away is not for her."

Despite all the rhetoric, owners who are upside down on their mortgages and have not yet defaulted are caught in something of a netherworld, where lenders are not compelled to offer them a lower rate, but sooner or later, they are going to miss a payment or default on the loan.