Troy Funk provides an interesting scenario, I have actually seen in my previous career as a cop.
Morally or legally right? Not at all - in my opinion.
Interesting in other ways, as it is apparent I may be soon working with a foreclosure property the owner's still reside in and are about to be served notice and evicted. ... Yes I empathize with the situation - however admit I do not know all the details ... but caution everyone not to act in some extreme that puts you from the frying pan to the fire! - Len
Countless homeowners facing foreclosure are under tremendous stress and need money. When deciding to "Walk Away" from their homes, we see many of them realize that their dream of homeownership is about to end. As a result, many homeowners see an opportunity to strip their houses of anything of value; taking built-in appliances, light fixtures, landscaping, etc. to sell for profit or take with them. Many times, homeowners will leave the house with excessive junk and will even make efforts to destroy the house. The question is: Is this Morally Acceptable and Legal?
In many cases, foreclosure of someone's home is a result of circumstances that are out of their control. Looking out for one's personal interest may seem to have good merit, providing they are not hurting someone else. However, they ARE hurting someone else, including themselves.
For example, I was watching someone I know lose their home to foreclosure. Before the bank took ownership of the house, the homeowner legally prolonged the foreclosure sale for as long as they possibly could to stay in the house as long as they could without paying. Before the sale date, the homeowner "Stripped the House" of all the built-in appliances, kitchen cabinets, door knobs, and even removed some of the landscaping. When the homeowner left the house, they ended up leaving an excessive amount of junk. Then, they went on a mission to destroy the house. They did this with their children, friends, and neighbors knowing and watching what they were doing. Did they get away with it? No they did not! They demonstrated their character to the world and left a legacy to their children and the people around them that they were criminals, regardless of whether they went to jail or not.
In some cases, we have heard of lenders prosecuting owners who "steal" from the property and destroy what becomes the lenders asset. However, the most tragic aspect of this is that in many cases, it could have been prevented. Foreclosure is not always the only option when facing Foreclosure. Homeowners who are able to Short Sale their home before the home is foreclosed put themselves back on the road to "Financial Recovery" and may be able to qualify to purchase another home within 2 years. A Short Sale is also preferable to the lender because the homeowner continues to live in and maintain the property until the sale date instead of destroying or abandoning the property if it goes into foreclosure.
If you are facing foreclosure, talk to a Short Sale Real Estate Specialist in your area to learn of your options for avoiding foreclosure. For more information on Short Sales and the options to foreclosure, visit www.TroyFunk.com