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Get rid of an uspide-down second home (access required)

DEAR BENNY: We live in California and own a second home within five miles of our primary residence. This second home has been used as a rental, initially to persons we were not connected with in any way. For the past 10 years, two different sets of relatives who were in need of a new start in life lived in the home.

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Check the statute of limitations for lenders (access required)

Dear Benny: I had two properties foreclosed on this year. Although we had short-sale offers on both properties, for some reason the banks would not accept the offers. One of them was my primary residence, which had a first loan of $417,000, and a second in the amount of $180,000. The second home was an investment property, for which the first loan was $290,000 and the second loan was $60,000.

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Boomers help children, buy homes (access required)

An interesting trend is surfacing in today's housing industry. More first-time homebuyers are being financially assisted by their parents. This is particularly noticeable when the parents are among the baby boomer generation. They are showing an intense interest in helping their children and grandchildren become homeowners.

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If you’re a believer, take a word to the wise (access required)

Dear Mr. Berko: I have $86,000 in CDs and have never been in the market. My new broker and I feel that the stock market will be great in 2012 and 2013, and he has advised that I invest in three mutuals. But I would also want to own different, good stocks too. Could you tell me the names of maybe six top stocks that'll do real well in the market?

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