Although the morning of Monday, Dec. 8, saw a rally in the stock market, it seemed premature to assume that Christmas has come early. Said Scott Fullman, director of derivative investment strategies with WJB Capital, "There's a chance we could be higher for the day, but I'd be cautious about jumping in with both feet and expecting what could be a Santa Claus rally going into the New Year. The fact is, we're not seeing the credit markets opening up, we're not seeing buying of distressed debt, and that leads to additional worries for stocks."

When asked if they agreed with that statement, 83.3% of Big Builder's readers who responded said "yes," while 16.7% remained unsure.

While there was a fairly even split between respondents who were having difficulty communicating with their lenders and those who were not, the effectiveness of that communication trended somewhat more negatively. And while 57.2% of respondents said that their banks lenders were able to resolve their issues or concerns somewhat or very often, only 28.6% were able to access capital with any amount of regularity, while 28.6% could very or somewhat rarely access capital and 42.8% were unable to access capital at all.

As one borrower explained, "As easy as lending was two years ago, it has done a 180. Even for credit-worthy borrowers, it is impossible [to access capital]. Banks are uncomfortable letting their money go."