The Closer’s Story on Foreclosure

When a property is foreclosed, the lender that owns the property sends a guy known as “The Closer” to do some digging (find out if the house is still standing, who is occupying the property, etc.). This is an excellent account in the New York Times:

Some people have been expecting me. Some claim they never knew they were foreclosed on or tell me that they have worked something out with their lender. Some won’t tell me a thing. If nobody is home, I have to determine where they are — at work, on vacation, in the Army, in jail, in a nursing home, dead or moved away. It isn’t easy.

And the honest, heartbreaking conclusion:

If they didn’t clean out the house, I have to ask them to sign a waiver stating that everything left inside can be disposed of. Hospital beds. Hundreds of boxes of shoes. A mannequin. A second grader’s homework portfolio. A wedding album filled with pictures with one person torn out. Get-rich-quick “business plans.” Sometimes I linger as I check the basement for mold and lead. I am the final period on so many significant chapters. I feign dispassion, but I’m not fooling anybody. There is no difference between myself and these people.

And you thought your job was rough?