I found this article on foreclosed homeowners vindictively trashing houses now owned by the bank to be really depressing. An example quote:
Myra Beams, a realtor in Tamarac, Fla., said half of her foreclosed properties, regardless of the price range, have been vandalized by the former owners. "I think the former owners are angry, and for some reason, they think they're entitled to destroy properties," said Beams. "I guess they're angry at the banks for giving them the mortgage."
There is a lot more like that. A couple of quick thoughts
- The sense of entitlement here is stunning. It is these homeowners, not the bank, that failed to fulfill their end of the bargain. Who is the guilty party here, anyway?
- These folks are lucky to live in the US -- we have the most lenient home mortgage system in the world. Very, very few other countries in the world have no-recourse mortgages where one can walk away only with a ding on their credit record, without even a personal bankruptcy. Almost anyplace else, they would be facing years of garnishments for whatever losses on the loan the bank had after they sold the home.
- I always thought the critique of lower income people "trashing" housing projects in the 70s and 80s had a vaguely racial tone to them, as if this were somehow a proof of African-Americans being shiftless and irresponsible. But here we have white middle class people actively trashing their homes. Proving once again that being an inconsiderate jerk is truly a multi-racial, multi-ethinic behavior.