I did this screen-grab (click to enlarge) for your edification (McLovin provided the link on a couple of local blogs). It's beautiful, and coming soon to a neighbourhood near you.
Then there is this:
If you are facing or considering foreclosure, you're not alone.
Are you stressed out about your mortgage payments?
Do you have little or no equity in your home?
Have you had trouble trying to sell your house?
Is your home sinking under the waves of the real estate crash?
What if you could live payment free for up to 8 months or more and walk away without owing a penny?
Unshackle yourself today from a losing investment and use our proven method to Walk Away.
Can't Pay Your Mortgage? Trash Your House and LeaveThere is a lot more to the article, and links to stories from the people who make good money cleaning up the abandoned houses, which often are stripped of anything of value, and the contempt of the owners is evident in the feces left on carpets, in pools, etc.
Wachovia's current losses in California are originating not from subprime buyers fallen on financial hardship, but from homeowners who can pay their cleverly structured loans but are just choosing a different fate. "They've been from people that have otherwise had the capacity to pay," a Wachovia spokesperson said on the call, "but have basically just decided not to because they feel like they've lost equity, value in their properties. It's hard to know right now, but we may have seen somewhat of an acceleration problem…as people have reached that conclusion."
But that is what things usually do when you drive them off a cliff: Accelerate, ever faster. The open secret about the current housing crisis is that it is almost wholly built upon debt, which is to say the opposite of money. Everyone owes everyone: American banks borrow money from overseas, structure bizarre loans at home for Americans, which are then sliced and diced into securities and sold back to the international debt markets. The whole thing is a feedback loop made of bills needing to be paid. The best-kept secret of the crisis, however, is that homeowners at the mercy of those greedy banks and lenders -- including Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, who sold off his stock before the crisis to net a cool $290 million while the company's value shrank to practically nothing -- are bailing out and leaving the banks and lenders to sort out the mess of past-due notices themselves.
I don't know that we will see that kind of behaviour here, but ya gotta wonder.