When Lindsay Zortman and her husband put up their newly renovated house on the market in September 2008, the family moved into a rental home so that it would be easier to close on the sale. But the real estate market collapse went into full force, and the Zortmans decided to tough out the winter and then move back into their luxurious five-bedroom country home in the spring since no one was buying it. Tragedy overtook them, however, when the couple learned that their youngest son had brain cancer.
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Lots of money and effort went into treating their 3-year-old son and the family stopped focusing on selling their house. "In December 2008, we made the hard decision to stop paying our mortgage and let our home go into foreclosure," says Zortman. "Our only thought was that money didn't matter as much as being together. Our credit was ruined and we knew [the situation] was just going to get worse with both of us off of work," she adds.