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Man buys new home in affluent Texas suburb for $16 dollars!

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aaaaaa5a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:03 PM
Original message
Man buys new home in affluent Texas suburb for $16 dollars!
Edited on Wed Jul-20-11 03:12 PM by aaaaaa5a
This is a very interesting story.

It has to do with what is called a squatters law and a foreclosed home in a rich Dallas, Texas suburban neighborhood.


Here is an excerpt from the report.


If someone you knew claimed to have bought a new house for $16, you'd probably expect it to be a rundown hovel.
But for Kenneth Robinson, that princely sum could see him as the new owner of a $300,000 home in an well-manicured part of Flower Mound, Texas.
On June 17, Mr Robinson took advantage of a little known Texas law to move into the abandoned home.







SNIP


The house had been in foreclosure for more than a year and its owner walked away. Then, the mortgage company went bust.

Kenneth Robinson answers the front door at his $16 mansion.

After months of research, Mr Robinson used the obscure law 'adverse possession', filled out some paperwork costing just $16, and moved some of his belongings into the home.

Under the law, if someone moves into an abandoned home they have exclusive negotiating rights with the original owner.
If the owner wants them to leave, they have to pay off the mortgage debt on the home and the bank has to file a complicated lawsuit to get them evicted.
Mr Robinson believes that because of the cost required to move him out, he will be able to stay in the house. Under occupancy laws, if he remains there for three years he can ask the court for the title.


SNIP


He told WFAA.com: 'I want to be owner of record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner.
'This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known. It's just not known to everybody.'
Mr Robinson printed out an online form at the Denton County courthouse which states that he is claiming ownership of the abandoned property.







SNIP


Police have said they can't remove him from the property because home ownership is a civil matter.



Full story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016745/Man-use...







For some strange reason... this story doesn't bother me at all.
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Me neither. I just hope he can keep up the maintenence on it..n/t
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. Would-be squatter tries to scam his way into ownership of expensive home
with absurd legal maneuvering. He won't keep it.

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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. don't bet on it.
There's plenty of precedent in TX on that.
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aaaaaa5a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I guess I look at it as just one little guy trying to fight back!


I'm sure there has been more absurd legal maneuvering on the part of the banks than on him.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. It's No Worse Than an $85k-earning Person Taking a $300k Mortgage
Edited on Wed Jul-20-11 09:49 PM by NashVegas
And yet, they do, and they default. Why shouldn't this guy gain from someone else's stupidity?
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CleanGreenFuture Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
41. Keyword from your post: LEGAL.
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indurancevile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
4.  a white neighborhood, i presume? interesting.
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aaaaaa5a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Yup!
Edited on Wed Jul-20-11 03:20 PM by aaaaaa5a
Apparently despite what the Far Right tells us..... foreclosures happen there too!


I wonder if this would have even been a story if it occurred in an inner-city minority neighborhood?


I wonder if residents would have been as upset if a white person had moved in? My understanding is that as long as there is no illegal activity going on, having a home occupied is always better for a neighborhood than having an empty abandoned home on the street.

You would think the rich white people would be happy, and would praise this man's legal mind ! LOL! :D
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LondonReign2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. Not particularly white
I live in that area, though not that particular street. The neighbors on one side of me are from India, while those on the other side are of Indian descent, though he was born in the UK and she was born in Africa before moving to the States as a baby. The couple across the street is black, and a couple of houses down from them the husband and wife are from Finland and Jamaica respectively, and the family next to them is Japanese.

Plenty of white people, yes, but I'd say a well-above average mix of skin tones throughout the area.
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indurancevile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #17
37. The entire city of Flower Mound, TX has 2.92% black residents.
Edited on Thu Jul-21-11 12:25 AM by indurancevile
Flower Mound is 90.24% white, with the largest minority being Hispanics (5.63%, who also as a group are poorer than the US average) & Asians (3.05%, who as a group are more affluent than the US average).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_Mound,_Texas


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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. He doesn't actually own it yet, despite
the headline. I wonder what the taxes are on that house, and if this man will be able to pay those.

Given the law in Texas, perhaps this has already been happening. If not, it may start happening a lot more.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. Of course the bank would be paying those taxes until he was awarded the title.
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jpljr77 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well, he's not going to get the title now.
If he had stayed quiet about it for three years, maybe. But now that it's all over the place, someone, somewhere will intercede on the previous owner's behalf...I guarantee it.

Cool idea, though. Most people don't realize that Texas is easily the most consumer-friendly state when it comes to matters of debt and ownership of property securing debt.
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Blasphemer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
59. I agree... not sure how it wound up in the papers but I suspect we'll be seeing a follow-up OP... nt
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. i'm hoping
to see more like it. more power to him. even if he ends up without the house he's had all this time to live there rent free. hard to beat that deal.
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no limit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. But in order to move your stuff in to a house you don't own dont you have to break and enter?
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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Not if he moved his stuff in after filing the paperwork...
... and upon consideration, one can't break and enter property that is, for legal purposes, abandoned/unowned.


... it's a grey area. Any legal beagles out there want to comment and muddy the waters?
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
50. It's not legally breaking and entering if there is no owner to say as much.
Kinda like a tree falling in the forest.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
11. GO FOR IT!
Who else lives in Texas? Start house hunting.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. nice house
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. calling a 300,000 home a mansion?
Thats funny.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. caught that, too also then comes property taxes and utilities. not gonna be cheap for long. nt
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CanonRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. 300K buys a LOT of house in Texas
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. but it aint a fucking mansion
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #22
53. Looks to be about the size of Jed Clampet's house.
Edited on Thu Jul-21-11 01:17 PM by Hassin Bin Sober
:shrug:

Is there a ceement pond in the back?
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
18. I thought it was going to be Glenn Beck; he just moved near there. ;) n/t
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
20. I wonder about the health/sanitary conditions of the home.
Theres no water or electricity in the home It's been 100+ degrees here for almost 3 weeks. Where's he putting his waste?
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
21. I'm not a fan of adverse posession "squatters rights".
I think it's neat what this obviously smart guy is doing but I don't think it should be possible to do it. My HOA has had some issues with this and I just don't think that anyone should be able to just sign a piece of paper that says they've lived on a parcel for x number of years and then be awarded the title. It's not right.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Adverse possession laws only impact abandoned properties.
If you're paying your property taxes, keeping your property maintained, and are otherwise expressing a continued legal and financial interest in the property, there's no risk to you.

Here in California, the law requires that you continually inhabit the property for five years, paying all taxes on the land, and otherwise maintain it to the standard expected of an occupied property. Pulling this off basically requires the titled owner to completely abandon the property for five years straight.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Not here.
Here it's easier for a person to do. Simply putting a fence on our property for a certain period, after that we can't make them move it.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Of course not. This is an entity that may allow a poor person to get a break.
It is, therefore, a bad thing.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. This isn't a break. This is stealing and taking advantage of a bad situation.
It will have consequences for people who live in that neighborhood.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. The man followed the law.
Don't like the law? Campaign for politicians that are against it.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. By falsely testifying that he owned the property? No, that's stealing /lying.
It's loopholes like this that also allow corporations and banksters to lie and steal too.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. That's not what adverse possession is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverse_possession#Require...

It happens in the open. There's no "lying" involved. And since it's perfectly legal, it's not "stealing" either.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. In this case (op), that's not whats happening,. It's lying, cheating & stealing.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. So, in which way is it different from textbook adverse possession?
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. In our real life cases we have two disputes...
One where a homeowner enlarged their back yard by 150% by building a fence in the common area. The owner claims the prior owner was given permission to put in the fence. Even though they have not furnished any proof, there's nothing we can do because of time the fence was there. I can't really say that I blame them too much for not wanting to shrink their yard, if they were decent honest people, they would concede they are outside the boundaries of their lot and remove their fence and posessions from the common area.
They may have a legit reason for their claim but IMO, property legal descriptions, not fences, should dictate who is an owner of a parcel.

In another case, a wealthy (not a poor person) neighboring owner was using a large chunk of our common area. They claimed they were given the land by the developer, without proof (because it's not true). Because of mistakes their lawyer made, they will lose their case. They sued us and are being counter-sued for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

From the article, it sounds like the man in the OP is claiming possession of a vacant property even though he didn't buy it. As you can see, there is no legitimate reason to be awarded the parcel. He didn't even spend very much time on the property. There was no misunderstanding over property lines or anything like that. He's simply taking advantage of a loophole that enables someone to snatch up homes by signing an affidavit. Like I said, that's pretty clever but it's dishonest and there will be consequences for other owners in that neighborhood.

This reminds me of some of the cases you may have heard about where people get these fake checks for a lot of money in junk mail they get. And they go deposit the checks and end up with millions of dollars in their account. Sure it's clever. Sure it makes the bankers sweat. But they always lose it. It's not their money. Depositing a bogus check thinking it's a real check for a million dollars isn't a valid reason to keep the money.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. You say it yourself -- "taking advantage of a loophole".
Hence, legal.

Hence, not stealing.

And not lying either, since he's doing everything in the open.

You don't like it?

Tough.

You can't stand that a working-class black person is going to pull a fast one on the fat cats, do you? Good. Your displeasure is my pleasure. And yes, I'm pretty sure the person's low albedo increases your annoyance. You are a poor-hater, I know that from previous posts from you. Asshole righ-wing troll. (Pardon the triple redundancy.)
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Corporations take advantage of tax law loopholes to get out of paying taxes. It's theft as well. nm
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. There is a BIG difference.
And I'll leave it at that.
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. You keep saying there will be consequences for the neighborhood...
... but I don't think you grasp the concept of what consequences and why adverse possession laws are in place in the first place.

The laws are in place to rectify the abandonment of property and buildings. To protect neighborhoods and properties against ramshackle properties. To maintain tax rolls.

That's the "service" this person in the OP is providing.

The two cases you cite are cases where rightful owners were using, maintaining and paying property taxes. Shame on you for not protecting your property rights while your common areas were adversely possessed right in front of your (or your other owner's) eyes.

And shame on the owners of the property in the OP for abandoning it.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. Some people think a run-down, abandoned house is better than...
...hm, no. I think I'll stop here. Let me listen to some Vangelis music to relax. Space music, in honor of the end of the Space Shuttle missions.

See what I did there?
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Shame on you for shaming me.
Edited on Thu Jul-21-11 04:24 PM by Shagbark Hickory
For your information it was the board of directors that finally did something about it after years of a property management company not wanting to get involved.

The house would have sold eventually. Better it sell for half price than for zero by a homeless person who will probably lose the house again soon even if they are allowed to steal it.
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. "The house would have sold eventually"
I don't think you are grasping the issues at play here. I think it's intentional. I'll bid you good day, sir.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. So you're not even going to help me grasp the issues?
You're just going to leave me all by my ignorant lonesome?
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. I said, GOOD DAY, sir!
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. Who do you think you are? Willy Wonka?
nm
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Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
51. I agree. This just plain isn't right.
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crazyjoe Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
24. the city will soon own it soon for non-payment of taxes.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Why? Is he unemployed? The article doesn't say so.
And the guy seems to be doing his homework, so I'd expect him to be aware of exactly what he needs to do to not get kicked out.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Taxes aren't due until January 31.
He's looking at around $7,000 for property taxes on that house.
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crazyjoe Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #32
62. ya, is he going to come up with $7000 on the off chance he can actually keep the house?
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
26. Right on! Send him a fucking house warming gift! Does he need towels?
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
30. Ha HA HA HA HA HA. Ha. Enjoy homeownership, Mr. Robinson. nt
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
33. New article "After moving in for $16, he's ready to share technique"
"The number one risk is eviction. Any person or a bank with the legal title can start the process.

In Robinson's case, it could be Bank of America.

"Bank of America told me it has not foreclosed on the property, rather the original owner just walked away," he said. "If it does foreclose, it will exercise all of its legal rights."

That could mean having Robinson removed from the house by police, or offering him a financial incentive to leave."

I thought this was the kicker:

"Robinson says even if he's forced to move, he could still claim possession of the appliances, the pool table or anything inside."
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Dawson Leery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
35. Any loss to the TBTF "banks" is good for us all.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. Of course, there are people who root for the other side instead.
These baffle and disgust me. Unless they're loaded, in which case they only disgust me. (Since I can understand self-interest.)
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
36. this is becoming popular
there have been a few cases like this in california, and they were squatting in gated communities.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
44. k&r
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Indeed, this story pisses off the right people.
And that gives me satisfaction.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
60. It's a better system than "property rights" - that's why it exists
In the United States, the government can always override private property considerations for the public good. This has been stretched to the point where some consider it misuse, such as when homeowners are evicted so that businesses may be constructed there. This is another example, where the property being abandoned and having no responsible owner is a harm to the public. The theory, before modern utilities, was that someone who would, and could, actually live in the house was preventing it from becoming a public nuisance, and possibly dangerous.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, a lot more so than evicting people from places they are living.
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