Alma Ponce and her family — daughter Ruby, 10, left, son Heriberto Jr., 5, and husband Heriberto — pose for a photo outside their Woodland home on Dec. 7. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo began foreclosure proceedings on their home, even as the family sought to refinance. As part of a package of new laws to help homeowners, taking effect Jan. 1, lenders will be prohibited from foreclosing while they consider homeowners' request for alternatives. AP photo

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