Being sued for disposal of personal property.... - Posted by AER

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 06, 2001 at 21:24:19:

Southeastern Ohio, less than 1 hour from West Virginia.Actually a washtub is considered an appliance (cordless you know).

Being sued for disposal of personal property… - Posted by AER

Posted by AER on July 05, 2001 at 22:16:36:

My husband and I signed a contract for purchase on a house - that expired on May 30th of this year. However, we did not close until June 5th due to Title problems. The Title had a child support judgement of $1,585 and we had to wait to find out if it was paid or not. Turns out it wasn’t paid. So the seller (ex-wife of man who owed child support-who’s name was no longer on the title) agreed to pay $1,000 and we paid $585. So we finally closed. We told the seller they could keep their property in the garage a week after we closed (even though the contract stated they had to remove everything by closing). When we called a week later to have them remove it, they refused, stating that we promised an entire month. We did no such thing. So we sent them a certified letter stating that if they did not remove their property with 10 days, it would be considered abandoned and would be disposed of. Their attorney (friend) called and said he would sue us if we disposed of it. So we got an attorney. She in turn wrote them another letter stating the abandoned property was to be removed within seven days or it will be disposed of. Their attorney proceeded to call her and say they are leaving it in our house for another month (it’s already been here over one month), and if we dispose of it he will sue us for that and Malicious Procecution (whatever that is).




Re: Being sued - Posted by Jim Locker

Posted by Jim Locker on July 09, 2001 at 08:47:46:

You have given due notice that the property would be considered abandoned. So you can dispose of it.

But that won’t stop them suing. They most probably would lose, but not certainly.

So here is what you do. Rent a Store and Lock. Move all the stuff to that location. Send the bill to the owners of the stuff. If the owners don’t pay the bill, the Store and Lock gets padlocked, and they will clear all the junk out.

You have then not disposed of the property, but stored it.

Re: There is a lesson - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 06, 2001 at 12:45:39:

to be learned here. We might just want to call it a seminar.

While we are waiting for the next chapter we all need to run out and hire some more attorneys. They really need the money, and have already had thier seminar. So don’t forget your checkbook (retainer you know).

The lesson here is do not close on a property that has anyones valuable junk left behind (you know, antiques and family heirlooms).

A phrase that I include in my purchase offer is “and all chattels in and about the premesis”. This is added right after the property description. It says in essence that I am purchasing the property and any stuff that is there on the day of closing. So at least it is mine to dispose of.

In the case described here the sue(ee) and the sue(er) will contribute heavily to the lawyers retirement fund for no good reason. Better luck next time.

I’d do what my attorney tells me to do - Posted by JD

Posted by JD on July 06, 2001 at 10:33:23:

You didnt even say what State your in. But since you asked, I’d hire someone to move it into storage. Then bill the Seller.

Recently went through this same thing. - Posted by Mark-NC

Posted by Mark-NC on July 06, 2001 at 07:07:42:

I am not sure what state your in but Like Alex posted below your attorney should know what you can or can’t do in your state.

Earlier this year I went through almost the same thing. I bought a home from a tired land lord and the previous tennant abandoned all her furniture and personal belongings. The place was such a mess I couldn’t do anything with it untill her stuff was out.

It took me almost a month just to located her. When I finally did my attorney told me to send her a registerd letter stating her belongings would be removed and put in storage in 30 days from the date of this letter if she does not pick them up. It also stated she would be billed for any moving and storage costs.

She called me when she got the letter and said she would have it out. 30 days later the stufff was still in there. I even gave her an extra two weeks after that date.

Finally I had to get it out so I knew a guy that would haul it and store it at his garage and bill her. So I had him take it and I sent her another certified letter stating where her belongings were and that she had a 60 days to pay the hauling and storing fee or her items would be sold to recover costs.

Well guess what? 60 days goes by and she still hasn’t picked it up or even made an attempt. So this guy starts selling her belongings and she finally calls. She was really mad and said she was going to call the cops and have him arrested. He tells her, you have had every opportunity to pick up your belongings, you have been notified, you have even called us and said you were going to pick them up. He pulls out the signed registered letters and says what do you think the cops are going to do when they see these?

She got real huffy and wanted back what he hadn’t sold yet. He said give me $100 and you can take the rest. She wasn’t happy at all but she paid it took the remaining of her belongings and stormed out of there.

People are funny. The whole thing had me a little nervous but I followed what the attorney told me we could do. The strange thing about this woman was her stuff was abandoned at least 3 months prior to when I bought the place and it took me almost a month to find her and we gave her another a 30 day notice plus 2 weeks plus 60 days. Gosh how much more time does a person need to get there stuff!

It’s adventures like this that keep things interesting.

Good luck,

Re: Being sued for disposal of personal property. - Posted by Tarheel T

Posted by Tarheel T on July 06, 2001 at 03:26:46:


I had a similar situation a couple years ago. They got a lawyer, I got a lawyer, everyone threatened everyone else.It was a mess for a few weeks. My lawyer said to go right ahead and have the Salvation Army take it.
I wrote a letter to the folks that I had called the S.A. to come get their stuff and it was just a matter of who got there first. Well, a day later the folks came and removed their belongings!!

Good Luck,

Tracy Thompson

Re: Being sued for disposal of personal property - Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX

Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX on July 05, 2001 at 23:36:18:

I’d approach it a little differently. I’d have an attorney write a letter to them stating they have 3 days to remove their belongings, or it will be stored in the paid for storage facility and they’ll have to pick up the storage bill plus reimburse you for hauling.

I’d also have an attorney look into your purchase contract. The contract I use has a specific clause where it’s described when possession to the property is delivered to purchaser. Typically it’d say “upon closing and funding”.

Unless other written agreements were made that presumes seller’s personal stuff must be out by closing and funding. And a walk through prior to closing would confirm that.

Obviously you are past that walk-through point, but at least you could look up what your Contract says. If they did have to deliver possesison at closing/funding it’d seem they are in a breach of the contract and it should be within your realm to at least get their stuff hauled to a storage and get reimbursed for hauling, provided you gave proper notices of their breach of contract and your intent to store.

Re: Being sued for disposal of property… - Posted by Ronald * Starr

Posted by Ronald * Starr on July 05, 2001 at 22:29:58:


You need legal advice, not investing advice. If your attorney is knowledgeable about this area of the law either follow his/her advice or get another opinion. There will be laws about this sort of thing and there will be court cases interpreting those laws.

If your attorney is not very knowledgeable about this area of the law, you probably better see one that is.

It is sure interesting how valuable the people’s possessions become when they are in court talking to a judge. How many Picasso prints are there stored in that garage?

Good Investing*************Ron Starr***********

Re: There is a lesson - Posted by Kiersten

Posted by Kiersten on July 06, 2001 at 14:35:47:

GREAT idea! We just bought our first investment house and disposed of TWO 20 yard dumpsters worth of the sellers JUNK!!! They haven’t come out of their herion fog to notice but I’ve wondered if they had any recourse. We also have a car in the backyard that we need to have towed in the next week or so! Anyway, I will absolutely use the above phrase in our next contract and not agree to do anything “nice” after closing and it seems to only cause problems for the investor!

Re: Cars, old pick-up - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 06, 2001 at 17:26:28:

trucks, motorcycles, and anything with a title can be a special problem. It depends on the laws in your state. The laws in my state make an abandoned vehicle into a super pain in the backyard (so to speak).

I have “heard of” situations where the cars just rolled out into the street where the local police had to tow them away. Sometimes I have even heard of cases where someone had to put some tires on the car before it rolled out in the street. I think that I even heard of a case where the car had no motor and did not run (I think it took a chain to get that one out into the street?). I guess if a car has no motor any more that it would be difficult to call it a motor vehicle. Anyway if they end up out in the street blocking traffic, the local police will take them away (it’s magic).

The cars were possessed. My Mother, the Car? LOL! - Posted by mh

Posted by mh on July 06, 2001 at 20:46:49:

are you SURE you don’t live in the South? Those sound like southern tactics to me…We are required by law to have at least one dead appliance on our front porches at all times, you know.

LMAO; Beautiful! (nt) - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on July 06, 2001 at 18:40:10:


Re: Cars, old pick-up - LOL - Posted by Scott (AZ)

Posted by Scott (AZ) on July 06, 2001 at 18:24:31:

Very funny!