Before I enter foreclosure on my house, what can I remove? Fans, lights, appliances etc.?

Asked over 4 years ago - Augusta, GA

I'm only two months behind on payments but am walking away.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Edwin Armon Wilson

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . As a rule of thumb, you should only take out of a home what you put into it, and you should only do that when the item has not become permanently "affixed" to the property (which is why such items are called "fixtures"). Appliances, light fixtures, ceiling fans, cabinets, and built-in shelves should be left where they are, because generally, these items, along with the home, form the "collateral" on which the mortgage is based. If you look closely at your closing documents, you'll likely find that an additional "rider" has been attached to your security deed that states this. You should only remove personal items (i.e. clothing, artwork and photos) and items such as furniture and portable fans and heaters, as these items will be discarded if left behind in the home. These are the only items you can remove without running the risk of damaging the walls, floors, etc. of the home (and the rules I"ve just talked about have been put in place to prevent such damage from occurring). If you remove fixtures or other items attached to the home, you run the risk of the bank's insurance company bringing a damages claim against you (because the bank that owns your house will file a damages claim with the insurer, and the insurer will want to recoup its losses). If you are still unsure about your rights in this matter, you should contact a local attorney for further guidance.

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