Unlawful removal of our possessions after foreclosure

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Unlawful removal of our possessions after foreclosure

Our home was foreclosed on in January and we received an eviction notice giving
us until May 11th at 1pm to vacate. We were in the process of moving and many
items furniture, car keys, clothes, electronics, jewelry, etc. were still in
the home. Friday April 27th was the last day we were in the home. When we
returned on Monday April 30th after being gone for the weekend, the locks and
been changed. After a long ordeal with the sheriff’s department, the
magistrate’s office and the releator assigned during the foreclosure
proceedings, we were able to gain entry into the house on Tuesday night, May
1st. All of our possessions had been thrown out, including all my family
photos, baby blankets, handmade quilts from my grandmother, 14 years worth of
artwork from my children such as handwritten mother’s day cards and holiday
handprints all of my children’s school photos from the last 14 years, and many
more personal items with no monetary value but priceless to us. After a dispute
with the realtor and mentioning a civil suit, he and the current buyer our
offering to ‘make it right’ by giving us a sum of money. I feel like this is
mostly due to the fact they were in the wrong. However, we have no idea what
price we can put on the loss of family mementos and photos or handmade quilts
and blankets, or memory boxes with our childrens hospital bracelets from the
day they were born or for that fact the hospital pictures from the day they
were born. I want to be reasonable but I also do not want these people to take
advantage of us if we do have a civil case against them.

Asked on May 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can't put a monetary value on things like family momentos or photos, handmade quilts and blankets, memory boxes, and the like: the law only deals in objectively quantifiable values, like something's replacement cost, which can be verified and which is more or less the same everywhere to anyone. It does not put a value one--which means you cannot sue for compensation for--purely sentimental, emotional, or other subjective (purely personal)  values. All you can get for that is what you can convince the other side to  give you, since you cannot sue for anything but the bare economic values of those items.


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