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Residents Damage Foreclosed Homes Before Eviction

A psychology professor says evicted residents are showing their anger by damaging the homes before they leave.

With roughly 6,600 foreclosed homes on the market in Indiana, and more soon to arrive on the market, realtors say they are noticing a trend. When they receive them, many are damaged in a way that makes them difficult to sell.

Bloomington Realtor Ronita Walcott says more than half of the foreclosed homes she has received have some form of damage. But in one house the damage was particularly extensive.

“When you look at the switch plates, when you look at the tile in the kitchen floor, they literally took something to beat the tile up, so that it’s going to have to be replaced. It can’t be used,” Walcott says as she walks through a home in Bloomington. “Carpet was removed. The padding was damaged in spots, so drywall, so definitely this particular home goes a little beyond what we normally see.”

Indiana University Psychology Professor Peter Finn says there are a many factors that often contribute to this form of anti social behavior in instances where individuals lose their homes.

“In this case the behavior clearly is a way of acting out and inflicting harm on somebody and in this case the bank, whom they think has inflicted harm on them,” he says.

Walcott says she fears damaged homes will hurt the housing market and bring down prices of other homes in the surrounding area. At least 3,000 more Indiana homes in foreclosure are about to go on the market.

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