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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16271
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Real Estate Law Mentor
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Im a contractor and I have a client that is a power of attorney

Customer Question

Im a contractor and I have a client that is a power of attorney for one of her disabled clients. This disabled client had a condo that had everything removed (cabinets, appliances, flooring est..) and completely trashed. They asked me if I could remodel the condo and they would sell it and pay me at closing. I agreed to this (since I have an established relationship with her) The contract was for $27,000 to be paid at closing. Everything went good, I rehabbed the unit and they listed it for sale and got an offer for $70,000. (the unit before rehab was worth $25k) Well now that the place is just about ready to close the title search found a lien of $61k on the property that no one knew about. Its not a mortgage but its for a line of credit from a bank and the condo was used as collateral. So they are first lien holder and if they close on it I would only get $1000 after the lien and closing cost are paid. Now me and the customer are trying to figure out what to do. She knows she screwed up and should have found out about this lien before I did the work. Her client is no longer going to make any money on the sale like originally planned so she wants to do what ever is in my best interest. At this point I think negotiating with the bank to accept a lower pay off is the best bet but if the place is listed for sale at $70k and they are owed $55k they might not want to negotiate much. So im trying to find some leverage to help negotiation. she wont sell the condo if im getting screwed so that is some leverage The bank dont get paid if the house dont sell, They would have to pay legal fees to force forclosure. My question is as another negotiating tactic can I legally remove all the cabinets, appliances, flooring est.. from the condo that I installed if I have the permission of the owner of the condo to do so? So when trying to negotiate with the bank they might go lower in price because if they choose to forclose they will only end up with a gutted condo worth $25k and they are better off accepting say $35-40k?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 6 months ago.
Hello. My name is***** am a US licensed attorney and I will be happy to answer your question.I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.Please note, I cannot comment on your specific situation, as this services is only limited to general information and for any legal advice / legal service you should contact your local attorney.While I cannot comment on your specific situation, generally, once the floor, cabinet, etc... gets attached to the property, it becomes a part of the real property and cannot be removed by the contractor, with or without permission of the Power of Attorney, and removing the floors, cabinets or any other fixtures / improvements could subject contractor to criminal and/or civil liability if the lien holder decides to pursue such.So generally, the only recourse the contractor would have is to pursue legal claims against the owner personally.I am very sorry to provide you with this bad news, but please understand that I do have professional obligation to provide customers with correct answers, even when answer is not favorable to the customer.I wish you the best of luck and God bless you!

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