Foreclosed homeowners get revenge through vandalism

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by STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

kvue.com

Posted on December 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Losing one's home to foreclosure can be one of the worst experiences anyone can go through.

Emotions run high, including anger. In some cases, that anger can lead troubled homeowners to do drastic things.

In the case of one home recently foreclosed by a bank, it appeared "debtor rage" took over the homeowner, one North Texas realtor said. The home, which the realtor has since listed, was "trashed." Large gaping holes in the wall can be seen throughout the house.

"They're mad at the bank so they take it out on the house," said George Roddy, of the Addison based Foreclosure Listing Service.

From the outside, the house looks attractive, but inside it's another story. Most of the walls have gaping holes, as though someone took a sledgehammer or kicked in the walls.

Roddy said interior damage can be a common sight after foreclosures.

"There is a lot of pent up emotion in this process," he said. "It's a terrible, terrible process to go through to have your home taken away."

In most cases, Roddy said, the homeowner is behind in payments from anywhere between five and ten months, or even longer.

In the case of the recently trashed house, realtors are now touting the house as a fixer-upper, or as a place with a large lot to build a new one.

"It's just disheartening to see what people do to these houses," Roddy said.

Roddy said vandalized homes can lead to another problem that could impact the entire neighborhood. Foreclosed houses that are damaged sell for less, which could bring lower prices to other homes when buyers look at comparable sales.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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