Removing Items from a Foreclosure

Can the owner of a foreclosed home be held liable if he removes, say kitchen cabinets from the property? And, if so, who should be notified to report it?

1 Answer

If the home has ALREADY been foreclosed, then it is owned by a bank or holding company. In theory, that owner  - the bank - can do anything it wants. To whom would it be liable?

If you mean that the house is GOING to be foreclosed, and the old owner (the one losing the house) is taking everything that isn't nailed down, that is another story. Obviously, he isn't supposed to do that . . . there is likely a clause in the paperwork signed at closing that indicates that he or she MUST maintain the condition and habitability of the home.

However, since he or she is being foreclosed for lack of payment. . . the reality is that the foreclosing bank may take a more practical approach: Is that they are going to actually get out of him worth more than the cost of going after him? Maybe . . .maybe not. Lenders/Banks/Servicers lose A LOT of money on foreclosures. It is a bad situation all around. The homes are almost never in the condition they should be when they change hands.

If there is a broker or real estate agent managing the property (such as listing it for sale or handling tenants), and the property is being vandalized, that agent would probably appreciate a call. The number should be posted on the door or on a sign out front.

If you know what attorney office or auctioneer is handling the foreclosure, call them. If it is an ongoing issue in your neighborhood with multiple houses, maybe call the local officials and ask for a better watch.

Otherwise, if you are not at all involved in the transaction, I dont think there is much more to do.