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This is What a Home Foreclosure Looks Like

This Is What a Home Foreclosure Looks Like

Southern California may be known for its near-perfect weather, but there's nothing sunny about the rampant foreclosures in the region. Lisa Ling and SoCal Connected took a look at the process of getting a foreclosed home ready for the market after the family has abandoned it. She spoke with the owner of a business that removes all of a family's possessions from their home and observed what he calls a "trash out."

The business went from having three employees just a few years ago to 73 employees today, and the crews trash out about 15 homes each day. He's tried to get charities to pick up the items but they often don't take everything, requiring the crew to go back and pick up whatever the charity left behind. Crew members may take anything they want from the trash out site as long as they're able to take the items with them that day, and may have their pick of things like big screen TVs, computers, and furniture.

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sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 8 years
I've heard and seen the opposite--that they take things of value, any value, and take it with them. We went to a home with no door knobs, light bulbs, mirrors, cabinet doors, etc. Anything that could be taken was taken.
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
This breaks my heart... Imagine all those people literally having to start over from scratch, owning close to nothing! And then tossing out fine china and perfectly good furniture and clothes is horribly bad for the environment considering our landfills are already cluttered and once these people relocate they'll have to buy all new furniture (which means cutting down trees, using more resources and spending energy to transport these goods across the country). I wish there was some organization that could do something about this..
cubadog cubadog 8 years
amycullen2 it does say that they try to get charities to pick things up but a lot of times they do not take everything. I know Goodwill here in Portland does not take some large household things. It is sad that it has come to this but hopefully people learn to live within their means and do their research before they sign on those many dotted lines. I too have heard the horror stories of what gets left behind or destroyed when a house is foreclosed on.
amycullen2 amycullen2 8 years
Besides the obvious reasons this makes me sad to see them throwing away perfectly good stuff when they could be donating it to Goodwill or recycling.
doogirl doogirl 8 years
Most houses don't sell at auction! Right now on my cul-du-sac, there are two houses that are going up for auction, which is so sad. The yards are dead, the houses are empty. But you have a lot of time to make good on the loan before the house goes up for auction, months! It's an awful time, it literally makes me sick.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
We're in the process of buying a foreclosure. Luckily there wasn't much junk left, but we did look at some where they didn't just leave some of their stuff, they purposely ruined the house. Like taking a hacksaw to the pool equipment, or hammering through walls and things like that. It's so crazy.
Califachic Califachic 8 years
Spectra, the reason why people leave behind so much stuff are for several reasons...One, Many (most) still try to save their homes even at the very last minute(homes on foreclosure have 5 days before the auction sell date to come up with the money) two, families are either broke or have gone bankrupt and cannot afford to rent a truck or especially with today's gas prices (no friend or family want to spend money or miss a day of work) and failing economy. Three, their families and friends are in the exact same or similar situation as the foreclosure families. These are only a few reasons why families cannot take their things. They simply can't afford or have no way to take their personal belongings anyhwere. Lastly, number 4, the most tragic, they just don't have anywhere to go.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's really scary to think that it's what the world has come to with the mortgage crisis. i don't know what i would do if i were in that place and i think that i would really cry if i knew that people could take what they wanted of what i worked hard for cause of losing my house.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
When we were house-shopping, we actually looked at a number of foreclosures. The vast majority of them were complete hellholes...I'm guessing most people being foreclosed on just trash the place before they're forced out just because they can. I can't imagine what those houses would look like before the cleanup crews come in. Although, why would people leave so much stuff behind? You'd think they'd try to take everything they could with them (if only to sell it to get some cash). Some of the places we looked at were missing lighting/plumbing fixtures that the former owners took with them.
stephley stephley 8 years
It's too gruesome.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I have a friend who appraises forclosure homes. He has told some truly horrific stories of things he's seen before the cleanup crews go in. I'm not sure I could stomach that job although picking through the leftovers could be cool.
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