Property owners across the country bear a burden from the recession: paying a fortune in moving and storage costs to evict tenants who fail to pay their rent.
But the owners' losses are a boon for the companies that clear out homes. Their business has skyrocketed, "making money out of people's misery," said David Robinson, an attorney for Legal Services NYC, which helps low-income New Yorkers navigate the eviction process.
Hardest-hit are ethnic urban neighborhoods, where about twice as many renters are forced to leave as in the general population, according to housing experts.
Low-income black women, often single mothers, are the most likely to be evicted because they can't afford their rent, recent research showed.