I agree with what has been said below: 1) read your contract, and 2) consult with your Agent.
If you make the wrong decision(s) you can easily find yourself in legal â€œhot waterâ€. Taking/damaging items within or around the home not only exposes you regarding the purchase contract you can also void possible deficiency protection(s) via CAâ€™s SB 931, which became law recently.
From the CAR Website:
With passage of SB 931, effective Jan. 1, 2011, after the short sale of a residential property of one-to-four units, the holder of the first deed of trust (or first mortgage) cannot pursue the borrower (seller) for any deficiency under the note. If the lender consents to the short sale in writing, the lender is obligated to accept the sale proceeds as payment in full and the note is considered fully discharged. The borrower (seller) is protected even if the loan is refinanced as long as it's secured by a first deed of trust. (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. Â§ 580e (a).)
However, this law doesn't apply to junior deeds of trust. Thus, the borrower (seller) may still be liable for the deficiency balance on those loans.
An exception to SB 931 occurs if the borrower (seller) has committed fraud with respect to the sale of the property or has committed "waste" of the real property (e.g., severely damaged the property) (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. Â§ 580e (b)). Under these circumstances, the borrower (seller) may still be liable for the deficiency balance.
Note: SB 931 doesn't apply if the borrower (seller) is a corporation or political subdivision of the state (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. Â§ 580e (c)).â€