Before a Foreclosure Sale, Should I take the Kitchen Cabinets, Fixtures, Doorknobs, etc.?

Real Estate Agent with Allison James Estates & Homes, Sarasota 941-957-3737


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


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For more information on Short Sales in Sarasota and Foreclosures in Sarasota, please CONTACT USWe have over 25 years experience in real estate, and have been highly successful in negotiating short sales in Sarasota County & Manatee County, Florida.

Troy Funk, CDPE, SFR
Sarasota Certified Distressed Property Expert
Sarasota Short Sales & Foreclosures Resource
Florida Licensed Real Estate Agent

Allison James Estates & Homes
665 S. Orange Ave. #2
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 365-8769

WATCH this Sarasota Short Sale Testimonial Video


Re-Bloggged 4 times:

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  1. Ryan Case 09/27/2010 11:54 AM
  2. Linda Lipscomb 09/27/2010 11:59 PM
  3. Len Kobewka 09/28/2010 01:48 PM
  4. Gloria Soria 09/28/2010 10:26 PM
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Anonymous #59

Boy , some of you are full of yourselves, arent you?  Seems as though most are realtors that (not all)had a large part in this crisis, by banding together and falsly inflating the market !  Myself being one of those caught in the middle, as my house after only 4 years is worth a third of what I paid for it!..taxes , insurance and utilities have gone up and neighborhoods are being swooped upon , AGAIN, by those taking advantage of a sad situation.  Save your shame shame attitude for someone else. 

My loan is not a really bad one , however, my financial situation has changed and have been trying to work with my mortgage company.  I have always been current, however this does not seem to matter to them.  I can NEVER speak with someone in the is always India and never never get to speak with the same person twice!!!  I have tried and tried and tried and am growing weary and am about to give up and lose everything I have worked for all my this house was to be my retirement !!  Kinda screws things up since it is worth nothing and I am now 51.  I have been ignored, I have paid my dues into this house and have done improvements and you can bet your behind I am taking whatever I can out of here should I decide to throw up my hands in defeat.  BUT, I will not destroy or trash the house.  That is wrong and surely the conditions were poor as that kind  of mentality just doesnt pop into your head one day.  Does anyone know of brokers that buy & pickup home contents?

November 16, 2010 05:21 PM
Anonymous #60
I have read alot of these comments, and i to have been thru the forclosre proccess. These agents i see have seen it, and heard it but havent lived it. I tried the short sale for months the bank turned down offers for what ? I dont know. The bak wants money and only money even after trining for years literally two years to come to a conclusion. With the end result my house going to sheriff sale. Is it right to destroy a house no, but is it right to put someones dream and play games with it. You people just think if you bought something cabinents $10,000. 2 years ago. unfortunaly you have a hardship. Can you justify not working with the onwner to save the house or even sale the house but the back would rather put the house on the market for just a little more than you paid for some new cabinets.
May 07, 2011 08:39 AM
Anonymous #61
VICTIM of foreclosure

If you leave the back door unlocked perhaps a bugler did it after you left (of course you took pictures of the condition you left it in). Happens all the time. Darn thieves are just waiting for foreclosures to be vacant. I bet it would happen to our house. I have been meaning to get that back door fixed.

September 12, 2012 05:05 PM
Anonymous #62

I'm confused by this home is going into forclosure sale at the end of this month.  I just recieved notice from B of A, after almost a year of being in modification process, which still hasn't closed.  I know I owe the bank the money; but I became very ill two years ago, and medical bills wiped me out.   I'm employed again, and ready to start paying back the amount owed, but they've decided it isn't profitable for the lender at this time.  Knowing this, I'm chooseing to pack up my things, and be prepared before the forclosure sale.  Is this post saying it is morally wrong for me to take the things I've put in my home, such as my energy efficient refridgerator, light fixtures and water efficent dishwasher; which would serve purpose to me in my next place of residence?  I've made many improvements on this home over the past 10 years I've been here, and I don't understand why someone would consider it morally reprehensible that I take items with me, when they were things that were not included in the home when B of A [then Countrywide] approved the loan 10 years ago.  Then again, it's not like I'm planning on ripping out the carpets and cabnetry [although improvements to the home I've made, they would serve me no purpose in my next home].  Besides, isn't the home yours until the forclosure sale?  I mean, if a homeowner drove their car through their garage door and it wasn't going to forclosure, we'd not assume that was morally reprehensible, we'd assume the person needed some type of psychological help...I think the realtors that posted this need to get off their high horse, and stop being vultures that are only thinking about expanding their commission checks on the backs of people losing their homes.

November 26, 2012 10:01 AM
Anonymous #63
Blair Ballin

Emerald, items that are being paid through your mortgage and according to state law need to stay in the home. It doesn't really have anything to do with morals-that's your written agreement. You might be the homeowner but again, according to your state law the trustee could also have rights. 

While there may be some as you call vultures out there, you are assuming all Realtors in this post are which is an incorrect generalization. Many of us assist people in accomplishing their goals, and advising them of what could and does happen. I guess then anyone that helps anyone is a vulture.

November 26, 2012 06:42 PM
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Troy Funk

Realtor - CDPE, SFR, Sarasota Short Sales & Foreclosures
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Additional Information

Short Sales in Sarasota & Foreclosures in Sarasota - Sarasota Real Estate for Sale & Information for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure - by Sarasota Short Sale Expert & Real Estate Agent Troy Funk, CDPE, SFR, who has helped many homeowners successfully stop foreclosures with short sales in Sarasota, Florida.