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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54978
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Hello. I own a property in Minnesota that is in the process

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Hello. I own a property in Minnesota that is in the process of foreclosure. We had renters in the property who did not pay their rent. We tried to evict them in November of 2012 and they refused to leave. I sought legal help and the lawyer basically told me it would be an expensive process to make them leave, and basically asked me why I cared anyway since the bank will eventually take the house and make them leave.
Well, I do care. I spent 10 years in that house with my family, but we moved to a more affordable situation due to financial changes. I care about the house and I wanted to get the most I could for it in a potential short sale. The renters refused to let the realtor show the house when they requested and they were not paying their rent, and they refused to leave. This was a tough situation.
The family finally left the property this past week, so my husband and I went to the house to change the locks, and get the place sold. We got there and found a horrendous mess in addition to several holes in the walls, light fixtures broken, poop on the walls, poop all over the floor (dog), broken toilet seats, stained carpets, kicked in doors, moldy food stuck to carpets, disgusting smell, and trash covering the floor in one bedroom 2 feet deep all the way across the entire room, including a 3 car garage filled with garbage that cannot be walked through.
I bought this house in 2004 for 179,500. The house was built in 2009. 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. My goal was to sell the house as a short sale and now it is such a terrible mess. I took pictures in every area then my husband and I got right to it and started cleaning. Him and I spent 3 hours there today and got done with 1 bedroom only.
What I would like to know is do I have any legal rights to sue these people for the damage since the house is in foreclosure? I want to do the responsible thing and get it as clean as possible and try to sell the property, but now with all the damage… the bank will never get what they want for the house in order to satisfy the loan.
What can I do?? I don’t know what my rights are since the house is in the foreclosure process. I don’t think people should be able to get away with this kind of destruction to someone else’s property.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good evening. You own the house and have a right to sue the tenants for all the damages caused. Even after foreclosure, you retain that right because you did suffer damages which resulted in decreased value of the house. So, get an estimate of what the cost of repairing the damages would be from a reputable need not actually make the repairs; the estimate simply quantifies your damages. Then, file your suit against the tenants. Once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, and/or have the sheriff seize other property to satisfy the judgment.

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Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help!

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