A Word of Caution

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Difficult times cause some people to take drastic action without thinking. If you are in the midst of a very tough real estate scenario, I want to encourage you to think before you act. I am referring to a sale of a home where the seller, due to some very difficult circumstances, found himself in a short sale which quickly turned to a bankruptcy. The large home had many fine accoutrements, most notably the high end kitchen. The owner, thinking these “fixtures” were his to do as he pleased, (they were not) decided to sell the Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf ovens, cooktop etc., you get the picture of what happened. Light fixtures were sold, under cabinet lighting, in-ceiling speakers, a fireplace and the list goes on. In essence, the homeowner stripped the house. This warning is for sellers and would be buyers on internet resale sites. These items could be considered “stolen goods.” The penalty for a homeowner is severe.

The bank in this case decided to pursue criminal proceedings against the past homeowner—Grand Larceny, a fine punishable up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 monetary fine. Buyers of these stolen goods can be tracked down as well. If you thought the deal on the gas cooktop was too good to be true, it may have been. Buyer beware is often the rule of thumb for these types of sales. As a buyer, if you think the property is stolen, you could be in violation of Wisconsin Stats 943.34, which is a felony depending of the value of the stolen items. If you know someone who is going through a tough time please encourage them not to take this course of action. It is in their family’s best interest to think before they sell. Families face real devastation with the loss of a home, but prison time should not be part of the equation. Let’s all help those we care about most to do the right thing.

Posted by:  Glenn Hanon

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Categories: Real Estate News

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