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Woman Buys a Home That Belonged to a Hoarder and Finds Over $20,000 in Cash and Valuable Items, But When the Heirs Find Out, They Bring in the Law.

When a young woman (OP) purchases a hoarder’s house, she discovers a world of treasures – including a vintage wedding dress – amidst the trash. However, her joy is short-lived as a social media storm erupts when the previous owner’s heirs demand their family heirlooms back, leading to an intense legal battle that leaves everything hanging in the balance.

A New Beginning

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OP, a 26-year-old woman, purchased a hoarder’s house in May 2018. The home, a sprawling 6-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom abode, is sold by the children of the deceased owner, with all furniture and contents included in the sale. The heirs couldn’t handle the immense mess and clutter, leaving OP with a monumental task.

Treasure Amidst Trash

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Over four years, the OP cleaned, repaired, and updated the house, meticulously examining each piece of junk before disposal. In the process, she uncovers over $20,000 in cash, precious jewelry, antique furniture, and a beautifully preserved 1940s wedding dress. The original owner seemingly cared for this dress until her last days.

The Dress of Dreams

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Despite being single, OP decides that the found wedding dress will be the one she wears if she ever gets married. It’s a vintage lace piece, lovingly maintained, requiring only minor restoration. She cherishes it as a symbol of a future commitment.

Reconnecting with the Past

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In her cleaning efforts, OP stumbles upon personal mementos and pictures of the previous owner’s family. Out of goodwill, she reaches out to the heirs to pass on these keepsakes. Through this, she befriends one of the heirs on Facebook.

The Picture That Stirred the Storm

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Upon restoring the wedding dress, OP tries it on, accessorizing it with the found jewelry. She posts a picture of herself in the ensemble on Facebook. The post is noticed by the befriended heir, igniting an unexpected conflict.

Demand for Return

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The heir, having seen the picture, asks OP to return the dress and the heirlooms. The dress and jewelry were once family possessions, and she believes they should be returned. OP finds herself in a predicament she didn’t see coming.

Holding the Ground

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Despite the request, OP refuses to return the items. She argues that she is the legal owner, as stipulated in the house purchase contract. OP also points out that the family had their chance to claim these items but chose to sell the house instead.

Substantial Value

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Additionally, the OP points out that these items have significant monetary value and establishes that she is not willing to simply “gift them away.” The OP clarified that she passed on personal items and photos, but this was different.

Public Outcry

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The heir, displeased with OP’s refusal, takes the matter to social media. The family collectively condemns OP’s decision, accusing her of theft and insensitivity. The quiet resolution OP had hoped for is quickly unraveling.

Unwanted Attention

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As a result of the family’s public accusations, OP finds herself in the harsh spotlight of social media scrutiny. She faces backlash from strangers and friends alike, questioning her rights over the found treasures. The conflict escalates far beyond her expectations.

Legal Limbo

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Despite the public pressure, OP stands her ground, confident in her legal ownership of the items. However, the situation becomes murky as the family contemplates a legal battle. OP finds herself teetering on the edge of a potentially costly and time-consuming legal conflict.

A Hidden Will

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As the legal threats escalate, suddenly, a will from the deceased homeowner surfaces, complicating matters. In it, the homeowner mentions specific heirlooms, including the wedding dress, to be passed onto her heirs. This unexpected twist puts OP’s ownership claim in jeopardy.

Battle in Court

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OP and the family end up in court to resolve the dispute over the ownership of the treasures.

The judge, after reviewing the evidence, rules in favor of OP. The court recognizes that the sale of the home was indeed sufficient for OP to inherit everything with the house. The family’s claim is dismissed, leaving OP as the legal owner of the dress and heirlooms.

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “You can offer to sell it to them if you are feeling nice, but you literally spent four years going through the house, cleaning and fixing things up. That’s a lot of labor they didn’t feel like dealing with.”

Another Viewpoint

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Another responder wrote: “They could have hired a service if they were mentally unable to do it, but instead, they dumped it on someone else who paid them to take the house and all that’s in it.”

A Different Perspective

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A different person states, “My grandmother was a hoarder, and my family spent months cleaning out her house after she died. We did that because our family heirlooms and history meant something to us.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

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Alexander Veros

Alex is a writer for Top Dollar Investor, focusing on lifestyle, travel, and business stories. Alex has started several online businesses and is a blogger who loves providing quality content to help others. He is passionate about affiliate marketing, finance, and cryptocurrency.

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