Banks and mortgage companies are hoping a “cash for keys” policy will stem a growing problem for lenders taking possession of foreclosed homes: dispossessed homeowners trashing their houses on the way out the door. Cheaper and faster than eviction proceedings, the policy is "win-win for both parties," an agent who handles foreclosures tells the Wall Street Journal.
Half of real estate agents in a new survey say repossessed homes have suffered "substantial" damage. Missing appliances, paint where it doesn't belong, and vandalism committed by locked-in pets are just a few of the problems. A couple of thousand bucks to keep a property from falling victim to what the agent calls "a vengeance-type thing" may seem cheap.