Will The Foreclosure Tsunami Lead To An Arson Boom?

Here’s a scary thought. The subprime meltdown and its resulting tsunami of foreclosures may lead to a boom in arson, says Fortune magazine:

Faced with foreclosure on her Russellville, Indiana home, Christina Snyder allegedly concocted the kind of plan that now has insurance executives on edge.

According to the county prosecutor, the 31-year-old Snyder allegedly offered to pay a neighbor $5,000 to help her burn down her house and make it look like a botched rape attempt – all in order to claim $80,000 in insurance money. Snyder wanted the neighbor to bind her hands in duct tape, write “whore” on her shirt, and then help her escape once the blaze was set, the prosecutor says. The neighbor demurred, instead reporting Snyder to police.

With the national foreclosure rate zooming and the real estate market in a two-year funk, the insurance industry fears more homeowners will see arson as a way out of their financial woes. A recent report by the industry-funded Coalition Against Insurance Fraud notes that with “untold thousands of homeowners struggling with ballooning subprime mortgage payments, fraud fighters are watching closely for a spike in arsons by desperate homeowners who can no longer afford their home payments.”

Oh, fantastic. That’s just what we need. Can’t pay your mortgage payments? Just “burn the m—-f—- down.” Wait, no. That’s a terrible idea.

And just because we can, here’s a clip from Harold & Kumar. (NSFW, audio) We hope this Burger Shack employee doesn’t have a ARM.

Will foreclosures spark an arson boom? [CNNMoney] (Thanks, Robert!)
(Photo:The Joy of the Mundane)