Mad about losing your house? Trash it!

People facing foreclosure are getting a good amount of sympathy from a lot of politicians, but there's another side to this: people losing their homes who are trashing them out of anger at the lenders who have the nerve to take back the homes after they didn't make the payments they contractually agreed to make.

According (subscription required) to the Wall Street Journal, banks are offering "homeowners" losing their homes $1 thousand or more to leave their homes, provided that they don't smash holes in the walls or loot the appliances.

In theory, lenders could pursue civil or even criminal charges, but the expenses associated with that mean that it seldom happens. And a civil judgment against someone who just lost their home is often difficult to recoup. One foreclosure investor told the Journal that when he take possession of a home acquired at auction, he "expects" it to be trashed.

Why someone would trash a home he's losing because of his own failure to make payments is totally beyond me, but this provides another angle on the housing bust: with talk about bailouts for subprime "victims', you have to wonder whether potential vandals are really worth of assistance.