Defaulting homeowners strike back

House Keys

The windows are broken. The doors are off their hinges. The walls have been punched through like Swiss cheese. The appliances, curtain rods, faucets and other supposedly built-in fixtures have been ripped out and presumably sold. Paint or perhaps motor oil has been poured over the once-pristine carpets. The basement has been flooded. The plumbing is stopped up, and the stench is indescribable.

All that — and much more — describes the state of many of the homes that are for sale in foreclosure-wracked markets around the country.