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Ethical???
Old 07-14-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Ethical???

So I'm looking for good, used kitchen cabinets for my old house.

There are a lot of them on Craigslist, but many from homes in foreclosure. The most recent ad I saw was quite clear about it: "The house is in foreclosure so I need to get some money back."

If I bought these I'd kinda feel like I was receiving stolen property.

We had a debate on this forum about walking away from the mortgage if one was upside down on the mortgage. Shouldn't one at least walk away from a home that is as habitable as it was when moving in?

Anyone else feel that way or am I just hopelessly behind the times?
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:52 PM   #2
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I would not feel that way, the reason they are selling for firesale prices is that they really need the money to get some cashflow going, so you are actually helping them out.

Another way of saying it is, if you look around at your house and all the different things, would you sell your items to somebody who offered fair market value for them? The answer is probably no, because you value them greater than their monetary worth, and they are usually necessary. You value the item greater than the money. The homes that are going through the foreclosure are just at the point where they value the extra cash flow greater than the items themselves. You AND they are both better off because of it.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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I would not feel that way, the reason they are selling for firesale prices is that they really need the money to get some cashflow going, so you are actually helping them out.
No, it's in foreclosure. That means that the bank will be getting back a house with no cabinets. Would you like it if a buddy borrowed your car and it was in your driveway the next day with no wheels?

It's not like the person is raising cash to keep the house, the person is gutting the house before they're through the process.

I've seen houses completely destroyed because the owners gutted before they were finally forced out. Speakers ripped out of walls without regard to the drywall, appliances removed, cabinets removed.

Caroline, personally I wouldn't touch it with a well-insulated 11' pole.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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Yeah, but this sounds like they are stripping the house, walking away from the mortgage and saying "F U" to the bank. Next you'll see ads for copper piping and slightly damaged drywall. "Roof Shingles, less than 5 years old!"

But hey, it's technically their stuff until it's foreclosed. A friend of the family had their rental stripped to the bone - even doorknobs - by the meth heads before he got them evicted.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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In Minnesota anyway, it would be illegal.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:11 PM   #6
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When we've bought or sold a place the rule seemed to be: "if it's attached , it goes with the place". To me that means rooted plants, shelves attached to walls, doors, staircases, and cabinetry. I've read that as long as the party bailing on the morgage "owns" the place it is theirs to do with as they will, and that they have the right to sell off bits and pieces. I don't agreee with that sentiment and think it is a flat scummy thing to do. Others....just business...evil bank... whatever. scummy. my opinion - wouldn't do it, wouldn't want it done to me.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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In Minnesota anyway, it would be illegal.
Under a waste or diminishment of value of the security property type clause?
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:25 PM   #8
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Didn't read carefully enough that it WILL be in foreclosure, initially had thought that if they didn't do anything that it would go into foreclosure, nevermind what I said 8)
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:46 PM   #9
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Maybe they'll cut you a deal on the copper wiring, plumbing fixtures, doors and windows, too. Offer to make it a package deal, they might throw in the garage doors and openers, built-in appliances, and all the HVAC equipment... No moral dilemma here, after all, they are only stealing the stuff from their mortgage company and fencing it to you...
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:05 PM   #10
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I wonder how long till the greedy idiots being forclosed on contact the house movers? Not all people being forclosed on are pond scum I know, but some of the ones who are have no moral fiber at all.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:14 PM   #11
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When we've bought or sold a place the rule seemed to be: "if it's attached , it goes with the place". To me that means rooted plants, shelves attached to walls, doors, staircases, and cabinetry. ... my opinion - wouldn't do it, wouldn't want it done to me.
I agree. When DH and I bought our first house years ago, the sellers asked us if we wanted to buy their appliances as well. We declined as their stove, refrig, washer, etc. looked to be on their last legs.

Imagine our surprise when we took a final walk through the morning before closing...and discovered that every lighting fixture, all the faucets, cabinet hardware, doorknobs, plus the garage door opener, garbage disposer and exhaust fan over the range were missing!

We contacted our attorney who advised that if we wanted to back out of the closing, we had good reason to do so. We decided to proceed with the closing -- but only if we could come to a settlement for the missing stuff. At the closing, the couple claimed they were within their rights to remove all this stuff as they considered it "appliances" and we did, after all, say we didn't want their "appliances."

Hours later...with tempers frayed, we finally came to an agreement on the amount needed to cover the loss and we closed on the house. We never did tell the sellers that we intended to replace just about all that stuff anyway, so it really was to our advantage...and the sellers covered most of the cost of the new replacements.

That said, I vowed never to go through anything like that again!
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:19 PM   #12
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Your agent or attorney should have advised you that things that require tools to remove are not considered personal property/appliances. That generally constitutes a refrigerator, washer, dryer and maybe a freestanding range or dishwasher. Not built in appliances and things screwed to the walls.

As far as these sellers trying to strip the properties, this is why mortgage companies are offering the owners entering foreclosure a cash payment in exchange for their leaving the home quickly, intact and with no damage.

Its payola, but probably smart payola.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:33 PM   #13
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But hey, it's technically their stuff until it's foreclosed.
I think that this is not exactly true. It is theirs, subject to a duty owed to the lienholder to keep the premises in good repair. I think I remember reading this in my note.

Ha
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
So I'm looking for good, used kitchen cabinets for my old house.
There are a lot of them on Craigslist, but many from homes in foreclosure. The most recent ad I saw was quite clear about it: "The house is in foreclosure so I need to get some money back."
If I bought these I'd kinda feel like I was receiving stolen property.
Anyone else feel that way or am I just hopelessly behind the times?
Well, I guess you could engage the seller in conversation, casually inquire as to their foreclosure lender, and then arrange to buy whatever they're selling.

When you've loaded the cabinets in your truck, you could tell the seller ("owner" doesn't seem apropos) that you want a 50% discount or you'll report this to the bank.

Illegal? Maybe, but no one will ever take it to court or impose a fine. Ethical? Nope. Just like what the seller's doing...

Bad karma.

When we bought this place we had to beg the owners to stop cleaning & fixing it up before closing. Cleaning fluids were damaging the walls and they were painting over shreds of wallpaper & paste.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:53 PM   #15
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Caroline, they're stripping the house. Don't go there. Legal or not, that's bad karma.

You might want to see if there's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore nearby -- they often have good deals on gently-used cabinets and other items. Profits go to benefit Habitat and their work building houses for families in need. That's good karma.
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