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I moved out of the family house in April 2011. As a part of

I moved out of the...
I moved out of the family house in April 2011. As a part of the MSA my ex wife was awarded the house (H1) and I was awarded our rental property (H2). In January 2012 she stopped making house payments and the house went into foreclosure. She remarried 6 weeks after the divorce was finalized in June 2012. She said if I could get a Loan Modification I could have H1. In mid-September 2012 she moved out of H1 and I moved back into H1. She had taken much of the furniture but left tables, chairs, a weight bench, washer, dryer, yard tractor and dozens of other small items. She signed a quit claim deed as well as a MSA modification to give the house to me.

I gave her an additional month or so to pick up the rest of her stuff but she never did. When the Loan Modification came through and I told her I was getting married she said she wanted the rest of the stuff that was given to her in the original MSA. Some of the stuff has been given away but she expects payment for those items and everything else as well. My question is does she have a right to things that she left in the house 9 months ago. We have a court date on August 7. My attorney says it could go either way.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/16/2013
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,724
Experience: Attorney with 17 years experience
Verified
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Did you ever give her any type of formal notice with a set deadline to come and get her property or you would consider it abandoned and dispose of it?
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If so, was it in writing?
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Thanks
Barrister
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Dear Barrister,


 


I did not get much of an answer from you. A simple question from you is not an answer to my question. If you are telling me I have no recourse because I didn't give her a deadline in writing just say it.


 


If your question the best and most complete answer I will give a negative review.

I haven't posted an answer to your question yet...If you look at what I sent, it is an "information request". I need to know the answer to my questions before I can determine what your legal position is and provide an answer...
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I need certain details before I can provide an answer, hence my questions to you.
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


My answer to your questions was no.


 


I did not provide her with a written formal request to remove the things she left in the house. She had over a month from the time she left to move out any items she wanted. There were no formal documents as you would have if you were trying to track down someone abandoned/left a rental


 


There were some comments that she was leaving things in the house for the kids. 2 kids are under 18 one is 22. The oldest is in college and she said some of the stuff was his but nothing in writing.


 


I did tell her (not in writing) that she could get the rest of her stuff in the couple of weeks (reasonable amount of time) after she moved out.


 


The MSA gave most of the stuff in the house to her.


 


My position is that she waited too long to have a claim on anything. I will create a timeline that shows she moved out in Mid September and didn't even ask for anything until Mid April when I received the loan modification and told her I was going to remarry.


 


If I could have an answer by next Monday that would be great.


 

Thank you for that additional information. What she did when she was awarded the property and left it at the house is create a "voluntary bailment" with you being the bailee. A voluntary bailment is when one party, the bailor, leaves personal property in the possession of the bailee with permission or consent. The bailor can return and take possession of the property at any time before the bailee terminates the bailment and the property is considered abandoned. A bailee can terminate a voluntary bailment by giving notice to the bailor that they need to come get the property or it will be considered abandoned and disposed of.

In order to legally terminate the bailment, you have to give notice to the bailor that you are terminating the bailment and that they have XX days to remove the property or you will consider it abandoned and dispose of it. If they don't come get it, then you can dispose of it as abandoned.

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So in your case, if you gave her notice to come get the property and she failed to do so, I would opine that you would be justified in considering the bailement to be terminated and that she has abandoned the property. It would be unrealistic for you to be expected to keep her property indefinitely and if she doesn't take action within a reasonable time after being awarded the property, then it could be presumed that she has abandoned it. If it was that important to her, you can reasonably assume that she would have wanted the property in her possession.

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Although I am not the judge in the case, if I were, I would rule that you gave her more than a reasonable time to come get the property and by her failure to do so, she effectively abandoned the property and you were free to dispose of it however you chose to.

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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.


Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,724
Experience: Attorney with 17 years experience
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Barrister
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Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,724
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