If a lender illegally entered a shed on my property and disposed of all it’s contents while they were foreclosing on an adjacent property, what legal recourse do I have?

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If a lender illegally entered a shed on my property and disposed of all it’s contents while they were foreclosing on an adjacent property, what legal recourse do I have?

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the lender for trespass and also for conversion.  You would file one lawsuit against the lender with separate causes of action (claims) for trespass and conversion.

Trespass is the volitional entry upon the land of another without consent or privilege.  Trespass occurred when the lender entered your property.

Conversion is the unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over the personal property of another to the alteration of their condition or the exclusion of the owner's rights.  Conversion is any unauthorized act which deprives an owner of his/her property permanently or for an indefinite time.  

Conversion occurred when the lender disposed of your personal property that was inside the shed.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for trespass to your land would be nominal damages, but for conversion would be forced sale which is the value of the items that were wrongfully taken by the lender and disposed of.


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