Home Loans and Support

What are you allowed to take with you when you leave?

Discussion in 'Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure - Do You Need Help to ' started by AZChick, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. AZChick

    AZChick LoanSafe Member

    In AZ it is now common place to hear stories of people being arrested for stripping their homes in foreclosure. Does anyone know what you can take with you when you leave? Can you take your appliances, ceiling fans, garage door openers, window treatments? The things that you paid to have installed? Any ideas?
  2. knownick

    knownick LoanSafe Member

    I'm not sure what the law actually says about this, and I'm sure it varies from state to state, but I've heard it phrased a few different ways.

    The most entertaining one was to imagine your house being turned upside down. Anything that would fall out is yours to take.

    Fridge? Yes. Dishwasher? A bit of a gray area probably. The copper in the walls? Definitely not.

    Personally, we plan on taking what we put in. Ceiling fans, window treatments, water softener, etc. Those are mine, I paid for them, end of story.

    That's about it though. If I bought it with the house I consider that the bank's property and they can have it back.
  3. KT in CA

    KT in CA LoanSafe Member

    We are taking our fridge, of course. We aren't taking anything that is built in. We are taking our ceiling fans. Those aren't built in. I think maybe a good rule of thumb would be if taking it would cause any damage, then maybe you don't want to. Like taking a dishwasher may cause damage, and taking a stove or microwave could also. But I also know some people gut the house. One person I heard of had done a major remodel in his kitchen, and he even took the granite out that he installed before he left.

    I also may dig up a couple of the nice smaller trees in our backyard to see if I can get them to grow where we are going. If not its no loss because they will probably die anyway at the old house.
  4. dogatemy

    dogatemy LoanSafe Member

    I have no interest in gutting my home but I am curious how banks have handled this in the past. Has anyone removed fixtures from their home such as ceiling fans, kitchen fixtures and A/C units? If so then what has the response from the bank been??
  5. fallacy

    fallacy LoanSafe Member

    I removed my upgraded light fixtures, my refigerator, and even some really big boulders I bought for the landscaping. I could have taken the ceiling fans, but they were already in the house prior to my arrival, so I left them.

    The only thing I paid for that I left behind were the window blinds. I don't want the punk kids in the area to see that the house is vacant through the windows.
  6. AZChick

    AZChick LoanSafe Member

    Taking the AC Unit is what got the guy in trouble in Surprise, AZ. He cut a few bearing walls in the ceiling to get the unit out. What was surprising is that it was his nieghbors who reported him to police. Police went to his job in Tucson and arrested him. He took, light fixtures, appliances, and a few plants from his backyard, but I think it was the AC unit and the damage that its removal caused that pissed his neighbors off. No wonder in AZ so many investors buying these homes are "remodeling" then trying to sell for a profit..
  7. ProfessorShays

    ProfessorShays LoanSafe Member

    These stories help to suggest why the concept of "keys for cash" is beneficial both to the foreclosed borrower and the foreclosing lender. Rationale for this approach includes:

    1. It avoids the expenses associated with the unlawful detainer eviction process (attorney fees, court costs, extension of time to obtain possession of the home resulting in the lengthening of time it takes for the lender to dispose of the home.
    2. It provides the borrower with a monetary incentive not to damage the home, thus avoiding the potential of the repair and refurbishing costs that would have to be expended to return the home to a marketable condition.
    3. It provides the borrower with funding that can be utilized to pay the upfront costs for rental housing.

  8. faith

    faith LoanSafe Member

    Professor Shays,
    Nice to read your input again. I just saw on tv in San Diego area that a woman chained herself in front of her foreclosed home. She eventually was forced to leave her home, however she came back and damaged the house and is now in jail.

    When I sold my house, I left the washer, dryer, refrigerator, patio table, central vacuum to attract a buyer and it did. There were times I felt pain and thought of getting it back or get even with CW but I am glad I was able to control myself and let it go. I wonder if homeowners who are facing foreclosures know the things you just mentioned above. I didn't know about it until I've read yours. Thanks for your help and all your input. I thank God, Moe, Cat and the people who gave their ideas and opinions about my situation.

    God bless,

  9. miked2023

    miked2023 LoanSafe Member

    I installed a 5K ac on the roof. Any chance I could sell that? Or would I get in trouble? There was an old one there when I bought the house but it died within the year. Same issuse on pool equipment.
  10. Moe

    Moe Call 1-800-779-4547 Staff Member Loan Safe Mortgage

    They can go after you for fixtures that were bought with the mortgage, if there is proof. My take is an ethical one. If the bank paid for it, then they get it. If I paid it, then well, IT'S MINE!

    For example, say I installed a koi pond, deluxe BBQ etc on my dime, I'm taking my fish, BBQ and steaks and they can keep the house (collateral). My fish and steaks weren't part of that deal ;)

    There is no reason why you cant replace this stuff with older equipment if you wanted to and it's yours.
  11. CaWalker

    CaWalker LoanSafe Member

    I spent about $8,000 in my backyard - Stamped color concrete, sod etc. If I leave the house, will the bank pay me 8K (that stuff is still valued at 8K)? If not, then, if I took the Fridge, Microwave etc that was part of the loan, why should they care.

    I plan on taking the Fridge, Washer, Dryer even though bank paid for them.
    I'm also taking with me all fixtures that I put in, and leaving behind the 8K upgrades in the backyard.

    Well, I put in surround speakers in my walls. They are mine and going with me. I'll leave behind the protruding wires from the walls with a label that says what it is. I'm sure it'll help the next owners with their audio system.

    When I leave, there'll be no holes in walls, if there is any, I'll cover it up with Spackle.
  12. ProfessorShays

    ProfessorShays LoanSafe Member

    The focus should not be on "what the loan paid for" but "what does the lender have a security interest in." Truth is, the lender's security interest on your typical residential real estate loan covers only real property and fixtures. A free standing refrigerator is not a fixture, but personal property. To secure an interest on the refrigerator the lender must have filed a UCC-1 financing statement that you would have signed with the California Secretary of State. Same would be true of the washer and dryer. Now when you get to things like toilets, built in dishwashers, etc., then you cross the line from personalty to fixtures (which are characterized as real property.

    So legally your guiding light should be on what the lender has a security interest in, and not what the loan paid for.

  13. jinksy

    jinksy LoanSafe Member

    Our home burnt down in 2007 and when we got the new DW on the lot we kept our old A/C unit that was the only thing that didn't burn down. Since it was mine before can I still keep it?
  14. MRC123

    MRC123 LoanSafe Member

    What happens if your home gets vandalized while your waiting for the bank to foreclose? Just wondering how that senario goes.
  15. jinksy

    jinksy LoanSafe Member

    I would like to take this time to thank the owner of this forum for being here. I have a lot more reading to do, but there is a wealth of info here and I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate it.
  16. ProfessorShays

    ProfessorShays LoanSafe Member

    MRC123 writes, "What happens if your home gets vandalized while your waiting for the bank to foreclose? Just wondering how that senario goes.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->"

    As a citizen, you and I have a moral obligation to make sure that a person's property is not subjected to vandalism. Best approach in that regard is to do the responsible thing. That means that if you intend to vacate the property before the foreclosure date (or anytime thereafter), you should contact the lender and make sure that arrangements are made to transfer physical possession to the lender and do a "walk through" just as you would in a landlord-tenant situation. You want the lender to acknowledge receipt of possession and also acknowledge the condition of the premises at the time the keys are turned over. Taking pictures at the time of surrender helps eliminate the possibility of lender claims for waste (vandalism) that occur once possession has been turned over.

    Don't leave your common sense behind. Deal with this issue as you would other life circumstances. The lender doesn't want your home. From a practical standpoint if it is over encumbered as many homes are today, you don't want it either.

  17. ProfessorShays

    ProfessorShays LoanSafe Member

    I appreciate the privilege of participating on this forum and utilizing it as a recource for the students taking my classes. It is one thing to teach out of a book that contains stale references to past history. It is quite another to teach students based upon the "real life" experiences shared here by forum participants.

  18. Moe

    Moe Call 1-800-779-4547 Staff Member Loan Safe Mortgage

    You should be fine and it looks like you are not going to strip the home or leave it in disrepair. A tasteful exit and probably exactly what I would do.;)
  19. jinksy

    jinksy LoanSafe Member

    Can I take my A/C unit that I brought to the home?
  20. Moe

    Moe Call 1-800-779-4547 Staff Member Loan Safe Mortgage

    In reality, you can strip the whole house. The question is, is your lender going to come after you?

    By law, if you have a mortgage, your mortgage company owns the home and you are just a borrower of the money. When you pay it all back, you now own the home.

    During the time of borrowing, you don't own anything in relation to that home or that is affixed to it. So the law states you have to leave the fixtures. However, you may possibly get away with this if you replace it, then you should be fine. But this is at your own risk.

Share This Page



"Hello Moe, I just wanted to tell you, your website has saved my life (literally), I stumbled on your site in the middle of losing my home, I was able to network with people going through the same thing as I am. I didn't feel alone anymore, I have tried to give back and counsel those that haven't walked in my shoes yet. We hear so much about what is wrong with America, I just wanted you to know, you are whats "right" with America."

Nina Mitchell
Loansafe & MoeSeo Inc. © 2014 | LoanSafe.org is not a bank, lender, mortgage broker, law firm or affiliated with the US Government. Privacy Policy