Foreclosure Alley, people are even abandoning their stuff inside the houses.

As The Motley Fool’s mentions in the article pointing to this video news report from SOCAL:

Now this report really made me sad when I think of the losses the children or family members that were not involved in the rotten deal have to suffer.

I feel bad for the people who have lost their houses, but I’ve got to say, when I saw the building boom in the Inland Empire, I was just wondering when it was going to collapse. A lot of the people were justifying 100 mile commutes to Los Angeles and Orange County. It really did not take a whole lot of prescience to know that the price of gasoline was going to skyrocket and that traffic would only get worse and worse. I heard anecdotally of people commuting over 5 hours a day. The overwhelming desire to own a house seemed to cloud people’s judgment.

It’s easy to criticize people from the safety of my paid off beach cottage, but man, San Bernardino is not that great a place to live. It’s hot and smoggy during the summer and cold (well, not as cold as the midwest) during the winter, and as Gertrude Stein said, “There is no there there”. There is really not much of interest out there at all. People bought into the theory of ever increasing home values, but IMHO, it was obvious that homes became way overpriced in the Inland Empire.

Also, it is really a bummer to see all that perfectly serviceable clothing and furniture being tossed into a landfill.

You would think the stuff could at least make it to charities. The fact that the now homeless don’t take it with them should not be a surprise.

There’s a potential business opportunity there for someone with a truck… you could find out when and where the crew is going to be “trashing out” a house, show up and scour the place for valuable items that you could resell on craigslist or eBay. Some of the houses they showed on the clip had a lot of good stuff. It really is a shame they are throwing all that stuff into a landfill. But it’s nice for the crew, who get to keep whatever they want.

Anyway that really was a depressing and disturbing story. My stomach felt sick watching it. When you think about it, it’s really not that surprising that people can’t take all that stuff with them. It costs a lot to rent a moving truck and a storage unit. The people probably don’t have anywhere to put the stuff even if they could take it.

Yeah, I’ve never been to California, nor seen actual pictures of SB, but looking at google and topo maps, San Bernardino is one of the uglier-looking medium-sized cities I’ve seen. From the air, it even looks like it has lots of slums for it’s size, although I could be wrong.

I heard the exact opposite story around here - people who stripped the house of appliances and sinks before vanishing.

San Ber’dino by the great Frank Zappa plus lyrics!

I’ve heard very sad stories of people abandoning their pets (many apartments won’t allow them or people can’t afford the pet deposit) and in Florida, abandoned pools are becoming a feeding ground for mosquitos.

I remember one foreclosed property we looked at that hadn’t been cleaned out. There were family pictures strewn on the floor, unopened letters from bill collectors, and the fridge was full of rotting food.

In my area* we’re experiencing a problem with squatters breaking into the homes and stripping them. They also destroy the homes for the sake of destroying them, evidently. I keep hearing stories of holes in drywall, cabinets torn of the hinges, trash everywhere, etc.

I don’t have recent large-scale development nearby, however the farmer that owns/owned a lot of the land in my area built two custom homes and parcelled them off. One has had everything removed from it: A/C, reverse osmosis, appliances, anything that can be sold for scrap, etc. The fence was ripped down and pretty much shredded and all the window screens flap in the wind. It looks like hell. The other one has a guard living in an RV next to it to prevent the same problem. The first home had a few families in it over the year but the second never sold.

*North LA county, not the Inland Empire but very similar in some regards.

So why on earth are the ‘trash-out’ companies actually trashing the contents of the houses? Why can’t they donate the lot to Goodwill? Seems a shameful waste of resources to landfill it. Is there some tax law or something that the bank-owners are following? Does business in general oppose mass donation because it would undercut their sales?

The price of scrap metal has tripled. In the Detroit area the houses are stripped of any metal including copper plumbing and windows.

I read a story about construction companies who specialize in fixing houses that have been ruined by strippers. The comment that stuck out to me was something about $10,000 worth of damage for $400 worth of copper.

Does seem strange that the trashing companies can’t/don’t donate or auction the contents.

As they explained in the video, they can’t count on the charity trucks to show up on time, and they are a volume business - they grab everything, dump it in the truck, and off to the next house. I think there would indeed be a business opportunity there - buy the truck loads of stuff off the trash out company for about what he pays in dump fees (slightly less, to make it worth his while), and sort and recycle it yourself. Of course, if you’re in a depressed community, I don’t know how many people you’re going to have wanting to buy used clothes and old computers, but it really does offend me to see so much perfectly good stuff going in a landfill.

You’re not. San Bernardino is a cesspit. Some really nice places nearby, but Berdoo itself needs a swarm of mutant space-bats to beam it into the Sun. A hole in the ground would have more charm.

Shit! This is really depressing :frowning:

I feel really sorry for those people.

I assume that it is just a lot less hassle to dump everything in one big pile and then take it to a landfill rather than have a 2nd pile that you have to be careful with and a second trip. Pretty much in keeping with the whole Capitalism model, really. :frowning:

A bit meandering…

So we were sitting around the bonfire the other night discussing our hosts foreclosure issues and how long he has until he it out of his house. ( It is all due to his ex-wife and her deciding not to pay the mortgage without telling him during the last few months to ? of their marriage. He got the house in the settlement and tried his damnedest to make double payments to catch up, but it was killing him. By letting it go into foreclosure, he gets to screw her as well, since her name is still on the mortgage. She deserves ALOT more, believe me.)

I told my friend that I was laying claim to all the raspberry bushes and peonies in his yard. ( I plan to give them back to him when his finances are not so wonky and he buys a new house, which won’t be for awhile.)

Someone else laid claim to some other plants and whatnot. (The house is set way back on a dead end street. Anything we remove will not cause neighborhood blight.) OH, and I am going to dig up the mammoth forsythia if I get enough gumption. It’s too overgrown.)

Then the discussion came about dealing with his ex and some dumb ass realtor who didn’t know the eviction laws that he did know and had to educate her on so she would get the hell of his porch. Technically, it isn’t his porch anymore. But she was trying to oust him 6 weeks early and in a market that no freakin’ houses are selling in.

In bitterness about her and his ex, he decided to take all the toilets and sinks and anything else he can. Defiance is my friends middle name.

Another friend chimed in that a buddy of his Up North ( Middle of Nowhere Redneckville.) lost his house to a forclosure divorce situation and not only did he take all the fixtures, cabinets and what carpet he could tear up, but he also took the furnace and hot water heater.

We saluted this guy with our beers.

The guy in the video made the excellent point that a lot of the people getting foreclosed on are probably deep in depression themselves (and probably a lot of denial, too), and not making really good, healthy decisions.