Owners Take Revenge on Foreclosed Homes
With the foreclosure crisis worsening, bankers and mortgage firms often find that angry and depressed home owners have stripped out appliances, punched holes in walls, and wreaked other havoc on their property before vacating it.
A recent Campbell Communications survey of Realtors finds that roughly 50 percent of foreclosed properties to be sold by mortgage companies nationwide have “substantial” damage. Agents and lenders say the best way to ensure such homes are returned in decent shape is to pay home owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars to leave without incident.
In the industry, this is known as the “cash for keys approach,” but there is no official data on how often this practice is being employed.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Michael M. Phillips (03/28/08)