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I had my house foreclosed on; what are the dos and don'ts when I leave?

Winona, MN |

My house was flooded 2 years ago and I took out a 15K loan which I still owe $10K. I replaced alot of appliances, i.e. water heater, washer, dryer, furnace, stove and refrigerator. What are the laws with what I can and cannot take? How do I have to leave it?

Attorney Answers 3


The furnace and water heater would probably be considered "fixtures" at this point, but the other items, if all you have to do is unplug and move, then those should be considered personal property which you should be entitled to take with you. The mortgage company is foreclosing on your house, which would include fixtures, but not on your personal property. If you have a copy of your mortgage agreement then you should check it to see if it states anything about personal property such as washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, etc.

You should probably make sure the water is turned off, the windows and doors secured, and that the house is broom swept and no garbage/trash inside. The mortgage company will likely have someone come out soon after you leave to secure the property. You should probably notify the mortgage company when you leave and let them know that you've also turned off all the utilities that were in your name.

Best regards,

Errin P. Stowell

Stowell Law Firm, LLC
350 St. Peter Street, Suite 224
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-890-2831 phone

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the Bankruptcy Code.

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1 comment

Michael James Wang

Michael James Wang


It's going to depend largely on the specific items you are concerned about. The foreclosure statutes in Minnesota don't specifically address what you can and cannot take, but the general rule of thumb is that if the property is not attached to the real property, it is real property and you are entitled to take that with you when you leave the house. The water heater and the furnace would almost assuredly be fixtures that must stay with the property. In general, the washer, dryer, stove, and refrigerator may be taken with you. Some mortgage companies may argue that the appliances were fixtures if they were made specifically for your house and are difficult to replace. That situation is generally rare, so as long as there was nothing "unique" that made these appliances integral to your house, you should be able to move them. I hope this helps, Michael Wang Drewes Law, PLLC 1516 West Lake Street, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55408 ph: (612) 354-2296


With regard to condition of the house, you are under no obligation to do anything other than refrain from intentionally causing damage. There is no clean up or removal of all items etc etc obligation.

Legal disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in Illinois. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to upvote it.

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You can probably take the kitchen appliances, but I would not take the water heater or furnace.

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.

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