Evicted homeowners’ “trash” boosts junk-hauling industry

     You’ve heard the ole’ saying: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
     It couldn’t be more true for Frank Gallardo, a Fontana-based entrepreneur that’s stumbled across a business that’s putting more than just bread on the table.
     In fact, it’s employing his entire family.
     As Southern California’s housing foreclosure crisis keeps shutting the doors on homeowners every month, Gallardo’s crew keeps showing up at the doorstep with mops and trash bags in hand.
     For banks repossessing these homes, the beds, clothes, shoes, televisions and toys left behind by evicted homeowners amounts to one big pile of junk.
     But for Gallardo, junk equals cash.
     “The money is there,” said Gallardo, who owns Zzazz Industries. “It puts a lot of bread and butter on the table.”
     A year ago, he was subcontracting with real-estate agents who were in charge of overhauling bank repossessions.
     “Now I work directly with the banks,” he said. “And it’s the whole package.”
     Besides cleaning homes, he makes repairs so that houses reform back to city construction laws which were violated by the prior owners.
     Gallardo feels he’s struck gold, but he knows it won’t last forever.
     “I see it ending about five years down the line,” he said. “With all the inventory banks have, the longer the homes sit, the more deteriorated they’re becoming.”
     –matthew.wrye@inlandnewspapers.com

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