Husband and Wife bought a home, then sought refinancing to borrow $700,000. Based on the appraisal of the home,which showed exceptional upgrades, Lender specified in the deed of trust that “fixtures now or hereafter a part of the property” were secured collateral. After the couple defaulted, Lender scheduled the home for a foreclosure sale on June 14, 2010, but told the Husband and Wife they could stay in the home until the end of the month. Wife e-mailed Lender on June 9, 2010, demanding $10,000 in exchange for the keys to the house and threatening that the home would not be left in good condition otherwise. The house did not sell to a third party at the foreclosure sale. When Lender went to view the property, it found “total destruction,” including missing doors,counter tops, appliances, cabinet doors and drawers; trees cut down and plants torn up; black dye and spray paint spread over areas of the house; and extensive damage to the pool, whirlpool, and rock facing on the house. Both Husband and Wife were convicted of violating Pen C §502.5 by intentionally harming a lender by removing statutorily specified improvements, including fixtures, from the home. Husband and Wife appealed; the court of appeal affirmed the convictions.
37 Real Property Law Reporter 98 (Cal CEB July 2014).