``Banks have provided homeowners $20 billion in relief since March. Of that amount, 49 percent has gone to forgive debts in short sales, whereby a bank lets a borrower sell his or her home for less than the outstanding balance on the mortgage. Banks have waived an average of $115,672 in unpaid principal balances in 113,534 short sales. Typically, a short sale is better for a borrower than a foreclosure, but it still means homeowners ultimately lose their houses.''

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