Excellent column in last Friday’s New York Times Magazine called “The Closer,” written by the guy whose job it is to go to a home after it’s been foreclosed on and see if anyone’s there, tell them what’s up, and maybe make them an offer to leave without destroying the Yeah, those foreclosures are people, not numbersplace.

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.

[snip]

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.