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HomeRun Homes is a centralized marketplace which helps people Find or Sell a Rent to Own Home, both Nationwide and Globally to the thriving Rent to Own Market. http://www.lease2buy.com

August 21, 2011

Sweet Deal? $16 For a $300,000 Home?

Hi Everyone,

   Welcome back !
   Well...Chalk this one up under the topic of "Oddball Topics!".

   Some guy in Texas walked paid a $16 filing fee and moved into an abandoned foreclosure home...and he is well within his legal rights to stay. According to a story by Stephen Clark, titled, "Texas Man’s $16 Property Seizure Throws Obscure Law Into Spotlight", the man used a legal maneuver known as "adverse possession", which "allows individuals to take property considered abandoned", is an old law on the books of most states, and dates back to the 1800's and British common law.

   Basically, as Clark writes, it was originally used to "deal with the boundaries of farmlands that weren't always clear". Larry Morandi, director of state policy research for the National Conference of State Legislatures, called it "kind of a quirky doctrine" designed to acknowledge that if you got "possession of a property and no one's been challenging it, you should have some type of title to it". But, nowadays, the concept has led to abuses, and as Clark writes, some scam companies have formed to seize properties and rent them out. Basically, a function of the sluggish economy and the increase in foreclosures.

   In this specific case in Texas, if this guy stays in the house for 3 years, he can obtain the title and become the owner. It's true! Some states can take 20 years, so he chose the right state to do this!

   Is he really safe there? Apparently, he told the news that the owner would have to pay off a "massive mortgage debt", and the bank would need to file a "complex lawsuit" (he does not see this happening). It seems that he did his homework, since he put up "no trespassing" signs, and therefore, the police cannot remove him since it's a "civil matter, not a criminal one."

   Some states are cracking down, but only Florida and Washington state have passed laws "tightening the requirements for claiming property through adverse possession." In Colorado, there was a change that allowed judges to force the adverse possessors to "compensate the original owners for back property taxes and interest". The crackdowns failed in many other states, which I find very odd, don't you?

   Apparently, Clark writes, "as long as it's in the open, it's not a crime", and adds that adverse possessors can even "register the bills in their name and notify the bank, previous homeowner or neighbors of their intent."

   This is definitely something that is hard to wrap your mind around. It's something I am sure most of us are not familiar with. What are your thoughts on this?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #abandoned #foreclosure #Texas #adversepossession #Britishcommonlaw #mortgagedebt

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