Laid off from her job, eventually her unemployment benefits ran out and then she lost the home to foreclosure in 2007.
After 30 years in the RV industry, Funnell, 52, now delivers pizza part-time and lives in a fifth-wheel camper with her son on her daughter and son-in-law's property.
Looking back, Funnell says she might have been able to get a loan from family members had she told them sooner. Her advice: "Try to get help as soon as possible. Don’t be ashamed."
She'd worked at the plant that builds H2 Hummers for General Motors and hopes to get the job back after GM recently completed a deal to sell the brand to a Chinese company. "I am waiting now to hear something positive about my job since the contract has been signed," she says.
Would she do anything differently if she were shopping for a home today? "I'd make sure I could afford the house payment even if I was unemployed," she says.
Carpenter says they're always looking for jobs but are regularly turned down, because they're told they are "too old to qualify."
Carpenter's advice is to not miss mortgage payments. "Make sure that gets paid first no matter what," she says.
"Seek advice from people other than the bank, like a financial adviser," she says to anyone in similar straits.
Roberto, 38, expects to walk away from the home since he can't keep up with the mortgage. He lost his RV job and was unemployed for 10 months before getting back into the industry but at a much lower wage. "I don't make anything compared to what I used to make," he says.
"I know I can't keep up (with the mortgage)," he says, "so we're going to get into an apartment" once his mortgage holder decides to foreclose.
"The job was gone, the health insurance was gone," Garcia, 39, says of the double blow that eventually led to her skipping mortgage payments after five years in the home.
A single mom with three kids, she paid a legal firm $1,600 for advice on trying to get her mortage holder to modify the loan, but that still hasn't happened.
Her advice: "Try to make payments any way you can. Because of one missed payment you can lose everything -- dreams and everything."
She takes unpaid singing gigs on the weekend, hoping to be discovered and hired. “I calm myself by singing, you know, it gets me grounded,” she says.
Gutierrez attributes her plight to an aggressive mortgage agent and her own giddiness. "I didn't understand that it was a third party thing," she says of the loan. "All I cared about was I was going to be a homeowner... I was in Disneyland."
Berrier took out the mortgage in 2006, and says she thought it was a fixed-rate. Two years later, not only did her monthly payments jump by $200 but she lost valuable overtime hours at her job.
"I can make half a payment or a little more,' she says she told her bank, "and they said they wanted all of it."
He works in construction, but rarely more than 10 hours a week these days. He, his wife and most of his nine children now live in a trailer in nearby Bristol.
Gonyon put $20,000 down for a 30-year fixed mortgage but then saw his payments jump by $400 when his regular insurer refused to cover the house and his lender then tacked on "forced-placed" premiums.
Gonyon, 38, says he's learned to work with people he knows and trusts. "Get a loan from a local bank," he offers as advice, "don't go through a broker."