'Sharpie parties' deface foreclosed homes
Summoned by social media, gangs of young people vandalize houses during alcohol-fueled gatherings.
Vandalism of vacant homes has been one of the curses of the foreclosure crisis.
In California, authorities are reporting another rash of what are called "Sharpie parties," big boozy parties in which young people deface vacant homes.
At least a few of the gatherings, named for a brand of markers, apparently were inspired by the movie "Project X," in which a party gets out of hand and results in damage to one of the hosts' home. We didn't find any references to foreclosure or Sharpies in the descriptions of the film, and we're not sure how the vandalism got that label.
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"The Sharpie party is the newest twist here," Larry Morse, the district attorney in Merced County, Calif., told Reuters. His office has investigated at least six such events.
The parties are announced on Facebook and Twitter, which helped police in Merced County arrest three young men earlier this month who are accused of doing major damage to a home from which the family of one man had been evicted.
"For someone to commit these flat-out destructive crimes on a property, for them not to think they were going to get caught eventually is just ridiculous because of the number of people that are out there taking video and posting pictures," Wayne Hutton, an investigator with the Merced district attorney's office, told The Merced Sun-Star.
The vandalism isn't confined to writing on the walls. Revelers have also smashed holes in walls, trashed carpets, pulled off doors, destroyed appliances and left other damage. While this doesn't appear to be a widespread trend, a handful of other such parties caused serious damage to foreclosed homes in Florida, Texas and Utah.
Nationwide, thousands of foreclosed homes have been damaged by acts of vandalism that didn't involve parties, social media or catchy names. Some of the damage has been done by owners angry over the foreclosure.
The homes need to be repainted anyways--
The whole deal is wrong for sure but it's not like these homes are in pristine condition to begin with.
Reading some of these comments its no surprise we ended up in this mess. If you really think that banks want to foreclose on people, you are an idiot. They want people to pay the loans that they agreed to. There is nothing greedy about expecting a person to honor a bargain that they agreed to in the first place. I can't believe the amount of posts thinking that bankers are out to destroy lives. You people are really stupid.
I don't understand how it is the bank's fault if you made the decision to buy something then couldn't afford it. I guess it is the same reason it is the governments fault for you not being able to buy everything you want in life, or your boss's fault for you not being president of the company, or your mother's fault for your eating disorder...
I suppose just because it is a bank, they have unlimited money and can afford to take massive losses by allowing you to make partial payments on your already insanely low interest 30 year loan. Of course if it were YOUR money, it would be an entirely different story.. If your employer came to you and said it has been a bad year and you have to get paid partially for a while until things get better, there would be anarchy.. but since it is the banks with their unlimited money, it should be a law that they have to take partial payments.. FOR SOMETHING YOU AGREED TO PAY FOR..
And no, stripping a house of its value by selling off the things that would be sold with it under normal circumstances is NOT OK.. It DOESN'T belong to you, you borrowed money on it and until that money is paid in full, it is NOT YOUR HOUSE! You can't sell it without the permission of the bank, in part or in full, unless you can pay off your mortgage first. People walking away from a house to allow foreclosure are probably going to never be held accountable for it.. sure, their credit will be trashed, and sure they might get a judgement against them for it, but they still won't pay, and even if they eventually do, the bank is already out so much money from fighting it legally that they still lose out big. In the end, the banks have to make up the losses elsewhere, and that means higher rates and higher fees for everyone.. including small businesses, who rely on banks to make up for slow cash flow all the time, which means layoffs, downsizing, and lower wages.. good job people, you just screwed yourselves over, but at least you "stuck it to the big banks" right?
These ****ers will "grow up" to become the next wave of the Occupy Movement.
let the owners STAY in their houses and accept what they can afford to pay....
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.