Friday, September 30, 2011

Cops Bust Foreclosed Homeowner On Charges Of Stripping Fixtures From Former Home, Using Craigslist Ads To Unload Goods

In Woodbury, Minnesota, KSTP-TV Channel 5 reports:

  • A 35-year-old Woodbury woman is accused of selling thousands of dollars worth of fixtures and property, after her home fell into foreclosure. According to the criminal complaint, Riana Bennerotte made her first court appearance on September 14 on charges of defeating security on realty.

  • According to Woodbury Police, Bennerotte and her then husband obtained a mortgage of about $359,000 to purchase the property in July of 2005. The couple defaulted on their mortgage in August of 2008, but were given time to correct the default. The loan was assigned to US Bank in 2009. During this time, the couple separated, and Bennerotte's husband moved out of the home in January of 2010.

  • Bennerotte was served with a foreclosure notice on January 14, 2010, and a foreclosure sale occurred on March 25, 2010. A six month redemption period went into affect, in which she was permitted to stay in the home.(1)

  • During this time investigators learned Bennerotte was placing ads on Craigslist and other online services to sell items from the home. Among other items, the ads included a china hutch, office suite, and chandelier. Bennerotte's phone number was listed with each ad as the contact.(2)

For more, see Woodbury Woman Accused of Gutting Foreclosed Home.

See also, Woodbury Bulletin: Felony charge filed against woman accused of gutting foreclosed Woodbury home (A Woodbury woman whose home fell into bank ownership after foreclosure is accused of gutting the house and selling off tens of thousands of dollars in fixtures before she moved out).

(1) See State v. Zacher, 490 NW 2d 149 (Minn. App. 1992) for an example of one property owner who successfully scored a reversal of a conviction of this charge where the property was taken after the sheriff's foreclosure sale had taken place (owner removed the fixtures one day before the end of the statutory six-month redemption period).

(2) See Minnesota Prosecutors Invoke Seldom-Used Law To Charge Office Building Owner In Foreclosure With Removing/Damaging Property Subject To Mortgage for another story on a criminal prosecution of a real estate owner in foreclosure who was charged with stripping the fixtures from his property.

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