Foreclosure in 98022>Question Details

Yahyahs, Home Seller in Auburn, WA

If my home is in foreclosure, can I take the fencing surrounding the property before the bank owns it completely?

Asked by Yahyahs, Auburn, WA Sun Oct 3, 2010

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Dear Yahyahs,

Your question is a good one because when people stop paying for their mortgage, for whatever reason, the bank--who loaned them the money in the first place is now no longer their friend, and now these borrowers who were once happy to get a loan so they could buy a house, feel their house is being stolen from them. It's human nature.

But unfortunately the answer to your question is NO, you will be expected to leave all the various parts of the house for the next owner.

The fence is a part of the home as much as is the landscaping including plantings, walkways, the garage, and other interior items like carpeting, appliances and so on. In Florida we are seeing homes going to foreclosure with items missing--like air conditioners, pipes and wire. As it turns out, that falls under the bank fraud statutes and will involve the FBI. So a simple fence that you installed and then took along with you can turn your foreclosure into a jail term.

Sorry to share reality, but that's how it is.

Dane Hahn
Broker Associate
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 3, 2010
Call me insensitive but I say leave the property the way it is including any improvements. Would you take the fence if it was a home you rented? Essentially it's the same thing now....just my opinion
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Do what you wish it is your property until the bank takes it back, but remember any deficiency after the bank sells your home is your responsibility, therefore decreasing the value of the property is not advisable.

Good Luck
Bob Patrick
Buy a home after foreclosure expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010

Just from past experiences, and I've been involved in many where the homeowner took things including fence, sidewalk, landscaping bricks, etc. It is best to leave these things if they were there when you purchased the home, or paid for out of funds used from a HELOC. The reason for this is it can be considered intentional damage, and in certain states it is treated as vandalism. I know of 4 homeowners who did jail time for things like this, so be careful in what you are thinking of doing. Do the right thing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 3, 2010
I know you are angry, and you probably should be if you are losing your home. I work with a lot of people who have lost their homes & just want to get what they can out of it. But, really, you are just hurting the next homeowner then you are the bank. And, in any case, the whole thing is really no one's fault.
My question to you, is, why not do a short sale instead of just letting the bank take the house back. That will let you stay in your home a few months longer & keep the foreclosure off your credit. Contact me if you have any questions or you want help doing that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 3, 2010
I think you already know the answer to this question, but the bigger issue is one of ethics. This economy has hurt a lot of people and as a result there are many angry people frustrated about the system. When people take the law in their own hands in whatever way they justify their actions, they are depriving other people usually from also getting justice. I recommend that you start writing letters to your congresspeople and letters to the editor and support some of the new legislation that is finally coming down the pike, and just heard there may be a moratorium on foreclosures. This is a time for you to speak out, not to to do desperate things that will embarass your families further! What is a backyard of old boards in your rental house going to do for you??? Support your neighbor who hasn't been foreclosed on yet and vote for people who want to help. Do things that show you are the ethical ones, not the banks!!! My opinion! Best,
Terry Bell, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 3, 2010
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