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Breaking and entering: Housing's big business

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Inside a foreclosure: Wildlife & some nasty stuff

In the trade, they call them, "door-kickers"—employees or contractors for large-scale investors in foreclosed homes. These men, and they are almost always men, break into dozens of houses a day and assess the damage left by former homeowners.

"What we are looking at is to see if there's any plumbing or electrical that has been stolen, any damage to walls," said Kyle Sweet, the renovation team manager for Key Property Services, which bought 130 Atlanta-area homes at auction on Tuesday.