"They stripped the copper wiring, knocked holes in the walls and left the windows open to the elements for a week." This was how a realtor I know described a foreclosed property she had seen. It's not uncommon; foreclosed homeowners often take their considerable anger out on their former property on their way out the door. But here's a little known fact - banks will often pay foreclosed homeowners money to not trash the place. The policy is known informally as "Cash for Keys" and according to this piece on About.com, it makes good business sense - evicting a homeowner can be a time-consuming (read: expensive) court process for banks as is the additional cost of fixing up a trashed home.