So if you found $182,000 in the wall of your home ...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by 1BiGG1, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. 1BiGG1

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    … do you think the family of the former owner should get any of it? I think its absurd them even thinking they should get any of it. :rolleyes:


    Cash found in Ohio house's walls becomes nightmare - Yahoo! News


    CLEVELAND – A contractor who found $182,000 in Depression-era currency hidden in a bathroom wall has ended up with only a few thousand dollars, but he feels some vindication.

    The windfall discovery amounted to little more than grief for contractor Bob Kitts, who couldn't agree on how to split the money with homeowner Amanda Reece.

    It didn't help Reece much, either. She testified in a deposition that she was considering bankruptcy and that a bank recently foreclosed on one of her properties.

    And 21 descendants of Patrick Dunne — the wealthy businessman who stashed the money that was minted in a time of bank collapses and joblessness — will each get a mere fraction of the find.

    "If these two individuals had sat down and resolved their disputes and divided the money, the heirs would have had no knowledge of it," said attorney Gid Marcinkevicius, who represents the Dunne estate. "Because they were not able to sit down and divide it in a rational way, they both lost."

    Kitts was tearing the bathroom walls out of an 83-year-old home near Lake Erie in 2006 when he discovered two green metal lockboxes suspended inside a wall below the medicine chest, hanging from a wire. Inside were white envelopes with the return address for "P. Dunne News Agency."

    "I ripped the corner off of one," Kitts said during a deposition in a lawsuit filed by Dunne's estate. "I saw a 50 and got a little dizzy."

    He called Reece, a former high school classmate who had hired him for a remodeling project.

    They counted the cash and posed for photographs, both grinning like lottery jackpot winners.

    But how to share? She offered 10 percent. He wanted 40 percent. From there things went sour.

    A month after The Plain Dealer reported on the case in December 2007, Dunne's estate got involved, suing for the right to the money.

    By then there was little left to claim.

    Reece testified in a deposition that she spent about $14,000 on a trip to Hawaii and had sold some of the rare late 1920s bills. She said about $60,000 was stolen from a shoe box in her closet but testified that she never reported the theft to police.

    Kitts said Reece accused him of stealing the money and began leaving him threatening phone messages. Marcinkevicius doesn't believe the money was stolen but said he couldn't prove otherwise.

    Reece's phone number has been disconnected, and her attorney Robert Lazzaro did not return a call seeking comment. There were no court records showing that Reece had filed for bankruptcy.

    Kitts said he lost a lot of business because media reports on the case portrayed him as greedy, but he feels vindicated by the court's decision to give him a share.

    "I was not the bad guy that everybody made me out to be," Kitts said. "I didn't do anything wrong."

    He's often asked why he didn't keep his mouth shut and pocket the money. He says he wasn't raised that way.

    "It was a neat experience, something that won't happen again," Kitts said. "In that regard, it was pretty fascinating; seeing that amount of money in front of you was breathtaking. In that regard, I don't regret it.

    "The threats and all — that's the part that makes you wish it never happened."
     
  2. Mem

    Mem
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    He should have held on to it and say that he found it elsewhere.
     
  3. Jovial

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    I don't understand why the contractor should get any of it. It would be nice if the homeowner offered him some, but I don't think they are obligated. If I paid someone to come and move my sofa and he found $100 under it, he should get some of it? That's ridiculous.
     
  4. exwhyzee

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    I agree. The contractor had no ownership of the property. Why not just grab a lamp from her bedroom and demand 40% of its value? A stretch, I know...but its not his house. Nor is it the property of past owners who sold the house and all rights to it. I think things of value that are discovered on your property should go to you...not the discoverer.
     
  5. Jovial

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    If I ever hire a contractor I'll make sure to have a contract that says he has no rights to any cash, valuable paintings, ancient artifacts, etc. he discovers hidden in the house. :biggrin1:

    I'm not so sure that the previous owner doesn't have any rights to it. I guess it somewhat depends on how much time has passed. If they moved out the day before, but just realized they left it, then I think they should be able to get it. If it's been 100 years, then it's hard to say. It could have been someone's house that died and none of the heirs knew about the money or didn't know where it was hidden. Maybe in sales agreements, it says that the new owner gets everything including anything hidden in walls or buried in the backyard.
     
  6. curious n str8

    curious n str8 New Member

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    I always thought possession was 9/10th's of the law? Or something to that effect. The 2 previous posters do make a valid point about the home owner being the befifactary to the money. Hard to call but I think The present home owner and the contractor( her friend) should have worked things out. Since the heirs to the previous home owner had no idea about the money.He must have had some sort of reason for hiding the money. I really surprised the government didn't try to take it's share for taxes. :dunno:
     
  7. Gl3nn

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    The owner of the house is entitled to it. If she offers something to the contractor, that's her decision, but she isn't obliged to do that.
     
  8. Principessa

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    I agree. Then again if he found $100 bill under the sofa he would most likely pocket it and not say a word.
     
  9. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    My favourite part was how she was considering backruptcy after the bank forclose on ONE of her properties. Perhaps you should sell some property you greedy woman.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Gl3nn

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    I thought exactly the same Jeff
     
  11. 1BiGG1

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    She could be one of the many out there that cannot sell because she is upside-down on her mortgages or in a depressed market.
     
  12. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    It was just on the news. The contractor got a few thousand of the $182,000 and the 21 descendents of the original homeowner each got $1,500. The current homeowner had already spent $14,000 of it on a vacation trip and claims that $60,000 of the money was stolen from a shoebox in a closet.

    Yeah right.

    If I'm not mistaken, Depression-era currency was 'greenbacks.' Selling the original amount of cash to collectors probably would have tripled or quadrupled the total value.
     
  13. SuperStud

    SuperStud New Member

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    I read that story and it made me mad. That contractor was STUPID!!!!!:aargh4:

    If I were him, I'd have kept my mouth shut and tip-toed the fuck outta there at top speed!

    He says "he wasn't raised that way".. Oh boo fuckin' hoo.:tool:

    Being "raised that way" doesn't pay the bills! Being truthful and honest isn't always a good thing. For example, Obama wouldn't have gotten elected if he had been truthful and honest!

    The homeowner didn't know it was there so it's no actual loss to her.
     
  14. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    If I ever buy another house I think I'll have the contract stipulate that I'll own everything within the property line.
     
  15. curious n str8

    curious n str8 New Member

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    True but whats to say how honest he would be if he knew that he'd get nothing if he did find something?

    That protects you from the previous home owner but what about the contractor?
     
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