Lifestyle and Budget

US home equity is back, so why aren't more people borrowing?

Alicia Johnson and her husband wanted to renovate their home last fall but ran into a roadblock: When they tried to refinance their mortgage and borrow against their equity, five banks said no. Problem was, the Johnsons' mortgage covered their home in Christiansburg, Virginia, and some adjacent land — a deal-breaker.

How food stamp cuts could ripple through the economy

A proposal to curtail the nation's food stamp program would pinch families struggling to pay for groceries and ripple through other areas of the economy, including supermarkets and discounters, as people shuffle their budgets.

The Latest: Report disputes claim on pre-existing conditions

The Latest on Congressional Republican efforts to replace the health care law (all times local): 12:05 p.m. Senate leaders are positioning themselves for a Congressional Budget Office report that will assess the impact the House-approved health care bill would have on insurance coverage and consumers' costs.

Home buying tips: An offer they can't refuse

The housing market took another hit today when existing home sales data for April declined more than expected, dipping 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted 5.57 million homes, according to The National Association of Realtors.