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Foreclosures: The dark side of the American Dream

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Editor's note: With the collapse of the subprime lending market leading to tightened credit, many are wondering what happens to the millions of loans that are expected to default or more importantly, what happens to the homes and the people who bought them. In this four-part series, Inman News looks at what the lending industry is doing to help people get out of loans or get back on their feet and how some real estate agents are making this their specialty. We'll go in-depth on short sales, REOs and forbearance programs. (Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.) The darker side of owning a home is losing one. And that's why Kimberly LaBell tells prospective buyers of bank-owned foreclosure properties to carry a flashlight. "Often they're boarded up and there's no light," she said. LaBell, who has a growing business in the greater Detroit area handling bank-owned foreclosures, also known as real estate-owned, or REO, properties, said, "We don't hold open houses on these properties. Ninety-...