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Today’s Washington Post has a front page article on how, essentially, foreclosures are a pain in the ass to all involved. For me, the story didn’t break too much new ground—-but hey, I read about this stuff all day long. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the prevalence of floods and mold problems in foreclosures. And long before that, I was hearing about former owners ripping appliances out of walls in their foreclosed homes, and others that, ahem, turned their former living rooms into bathrooms before heading out. And I’m not talking about moving the sinks and toilets.

So, what new information could be taken from this piece? Well, I found this line to be rather staggering:

Each foreclosure costs a bank $40,000 to $50,000 in attorney’s fees and fees for property management and other services, according to John Mechem, a spokesman for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Sometimes it takes two or three tries on a short sale to make it work,” he said. “Lenders are willing to go to great lengths to avoid foreclosure.”

And, here’s another guy who’s making bank on the foreclosure crisis:

[Steve Whetzel] is a former deck and fencing installer-turned-foreclosure specialist and whose Sterling-based company, KNK Home Preservation, provides banks with locksmith services, property cleanup and all manner of repair work…

Whetzel’s company has grown to 19 employees, all formerly employed in construction, though the operation is so new his e-mail is still deckandfence@aol.com. He expects a banner year for foreclosure services in 2009. “The good that’s coming out of this is that we’re reestablishing the market,” he said.