Companies, such as Delavaco Properties, are spending millions -- in cash -- to purchase homes and condominiums in states plagued by foreclosures. The surge in all-cash deals comes as banks tighten mortgage standards and consumers avoid the housing market. "If there weren't vultures out there, you'd have a city of dead carcasses," said Robert Theocles, an independent consultant for Delavaco. "It's like the circle of life."

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