Wikinvest Wire

Take the money, but don't fill the toilets with concrete

Friday, March 28, 2008

This report in the Wall Street Journal tells of the new and innovative way that banks are now saving money on repossessed homes - by paying money to persuade vengeful former homeowners to bid farewell to their foreclosed property in a kinder and gentler way than they might otherwise, given the circumstances.

Eddy Buompensiero noticed eight pairs of shoes outside the door of the modest house on Mother of Pearl Street, evidence that the former owners were still living there even though the bank had foreclosed.

Mr. Buompensiero, a gray-bearded inspector for REO Asset Services-1st Realty Group, rang the bell. When no one answered, he taped a letter to the door offering the occupants $1,000 to move out. The catch: They won't get a cent if they trash the house before they leave.

"If it was me, I'd take the money," Mr. Buompensiero said as he drove away. Either way, they're "going to get thrown out in a couple of weeks."

The stucco subdivisions of Las Vegas are caught up in the nation's foreclosure crisis. These days, bankers and mortgage companies often find that by the time they get the keys back, embittered homeowners have stripped out appliances, punched holes in walls, dumped paint on carpets and, as a parting gift, locked their pets inside to wreak further havoc. Real-estate agents estimate that about half of foreclosed properties to be sold by mortgage companies nationwide have "substantial" damage, according to a new survey by Campbell Communications, a marketing and research firm based in Washington, D.C.

The most practical way to ensure the houses are returned in decent shape, lenders and their agents say, is to pay homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars to put their anger in escrow and leave quietly. A ransom? A bribe? "Yeah, somewhat," says John Carver, an agent specializing in foreclosed homes for Prudential Americana Group in Las Vegas. But "you lose a house, and then you get some financial help -- it's a good thing...It's a win-win for both parties."
That part about locking their pets inside is pretty sick...

There is much more to this story - crowbars, graffiti, motor oil - I think you have to watch the video to hear about what they've been doing to the toilets.

It's in the public area of the WSJ website.

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dearieme said...

"locking their pets inside": yes, just imagine the damage that might be done by a claustrophobic stick insect.

Anonymous said...

IMHO Anyone who brought a home and trashes it should never be able to buy a home again. imho They can't blame other'S for there choices .There is NO EXCUSE FOR THIS .

MelechRic said...

This type of thing happened two doors down from me. Everything of any value in the home was removed. All the doors, sinks, and lighting were gone.

The best part was that this was done AFTER the previous owner had given the keys to the escrow agency so that the new buyer could take possession. Evidently he kept a "spare" set.

Pretty much a criminal and I was happy to see him go, but it was sad to see the new owner (a single mom) faced with a trashed home.

Rob Dawg said...

Equity locust, terminal phase.

Anonymous said...

Sore losers when the get-rich-quick bet doesn't pan out. No mercy on them.

Tim said...

This too: Foreclosing on Fido

Call it reckless abandonment. Shelters and animal rescue organizations across the country are packed cage-to-cage with dogs and cats, even birds and reptiles, that have been ditched or dropped off as scores of foreclosed-upon homeowners relocate.
There are a lot of people who are just walking away and leaving their pets behind, which breaks everyone's heart," said Windgassen, the president of Anthem Pets, a nonprofit animal welfare organization in her community.
The number of abandoned pure-bred dogs in her neighborhood alone has jumped 10-fold just since Christmas. "It just boggles my mind," she said. "It's cutting across all income levels and age levels."

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what happens when "the ownership society" tries to include those that should never have been allowed to buy a home in the first place.

Let's face it, a large percentage of the population deserve nothing better than a trailer park.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another example of what you get in a society that is too busy to punish crime. If someone trashed a home they hadn't lived in, they'd be arrested. But they're treating this kind of vandalism as if it's not worth punishing.

Anonymous said...

Sad to read the comments of a few heartless Americans whose sense of entitlement is disgusting. That old "entitlement--"Life of Priveledge" attitude never seems to die--just keeps being passed down from generation to generation of snot nose jerks..
Anyhoo--Being tricked into unfair loan deal by greedy motrgage companies is SHAMEFUL.
....But leaving the pets behind, thats a bit much. And I DONT feel sorry for that Single Mother--if she wasnt so busy sitting like a VULTURE trying to profit off people's misery, then maybe she would have a toilet and a sink.

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