AmI liable for vandalism to a home in foreclosure?

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AmI liable for vandalism to a home in foreclosure?

I walked away from a home because it is going into foreclosure. The home has been looted – cabinets, vanities, A/C, etc. Am I liable for lost items?

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You very likely could be liable in this case. If you simply "walked away" from a home before the actual foreclosure, then it was still your home--and your responsibility. Had you waited until the foreclosure and the bank (or other lender or town) took possession of the home, you would not be responsible for what happened next as long as you otherwise acted in a reasonable way (closed windows, turned in keys, left doors locked when you left, etc.). However, if--as implied by the way your question is written--the home was still legally yours at that time, then the damage occured "on your watch" and you would be responsible for it, unfortunately.


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