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Man uses obscure law to claim ownership of $300k home in upscale Texas town... for just $16
Daily Mail ^ | 7/20/11 | Wil Longbottom

Posted on 07/20/2011 11:19:26 AM PDT by Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

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.

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

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: crisis; foreclosure; housing; housingbubble; subprime
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This is in Flower Mound, Texas

1 posted on 07/20/2011 11:19:32 AM PDT by Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Send him the tax bill.


2 posted on 07/20/2011 11:21:44 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

I don’t see the down side...good on him for being well-informed.


3 posted on 07/20/2011 11:22:07 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

“Mr Robinson used the obscure law ‘adverse possession’,....”

Adverse possession ... AKA “squatters’ rights”.


4 posted on 07/20/2011 11:22:07 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

The law’s the law.


5 posted on 07/20/2011 11:23:08 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: JRios1968

Wish I had known about this deal!


6 posted on 07/20/2011 11:24:18 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Yep


7 posted on 07/20/2011 11:24:51 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: JRios1968

“Leigh Lowrie, who lives nearby, said: ‘What paperwork is it and how is it legally binding if he doesn’t legally own the house? He just squats there.”

They are just pissed they didn’t think of it first.


8 posted on 07/20/2011 11:26:09 AM PDT by CJ Wolf (I like it that FR still spell checks "obama")
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

The law is the law but if I was the county I would sure send him the tax bill.


9 posted on 07/20/2011 11:26:09 AM PDT by PeteB570
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To: cripplecreek

He’ll pay property taxes going forward. He doesn’t owe back taxes on this property.


10 posted on 07/20/2011 11:27:32 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: PeteB570
It's been years since I studied this but I seem to recall the elements were open and notorious possession AND paying the tax bill.

Lawyers?

11 posted on 07/20/2011 11:28:21 AM PDT by truthkeeper (Vote Against Barack Obama in 2012!)
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To: PeteB570

While property taxes in Texas might be on the high side (although nowhere near as high as, say, NH or NJ) if that’s all I had to do to own a house, send away. I’d rather pay $10K than $300K.


12 posted on 07/20/2011 11:28:34 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-eyed killer of the deep.)
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To: stephenjohnbanker
its owner walked away. Then, the mortgage company went bust.

I doubt it is the only house in this situation.

13 posted on 07/20/2011 11:28:50 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Jeff Chandler

There are thousands of homes in the same situation, right now, in Dallas/Ft Worth, I’m sure.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/search/rea?query=foreclosure&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms=


14 posted on 07/20/2011 11:29:03 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Gov. Sarah Palin. What'll you do?)
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To: cripplecreek
Send him the tax bill.

Exactly - I have no idea if that's an element of adverse possession in Texas, but it's often an element of an adverse possession claim.

The article seems full of WTF in any event. "Obscure law"? Adverse possession is taught in Property 101.
15 posted on 07/20/2011 11:29:10 AM PDT by rockvillem
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Smart guy; way to go!

I have no problem with this whatsoever, and good for him. I wish we had something similar in Germany, but what the heck; for that, I’m willing to settle in Texas.


16 posted on 07/20/2011 11:29:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

17 posted on 07/20/2011 11:30:05 AM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Adverse possession laws vary by state.

In Arkansas, a claim for adverse possession can only take place after you’ve resided on and maintained the property for seven years. Full documentation of residence and maintenance is also required.


18 posted on 07/20/2011 11:30:52 AM PDT by hsrazorback1 (Seek truth.)
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To: ShadowAce

Now the question .. how did he get in ?

If door was locked.. would that not be breaking and entering.. surely the law can not reward a criminal act.

He will in the long run loose, some one some where has clear title and ownership.


19 posted on 07/20/2011 11:31:08 AM PDT by Bidimus1
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Read the law.
There is much you can do.
Very few do read the law. Those who do can do well.


20 posted on 07/20/2011 11:31:46 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Now what if the original owner had a relative who assumed occupancy of the house then signed the title over to the former owner? Hmmmmm


21 posted on 07/20/2011 11:37:49 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: thackney

There is going to be a lot of this around the country in the next ten years.


22 posted on 07/20/2011 11:37:49 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: rockvillem

Somebody owns the paper on this house and he will be finding out who before long in the form of lawsuits and he will not be able to afford the legal fees.


23 posted on 07/20/2011 11:38:05 AM PDT by biff (WAS)
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To: Jeff Chandler

That’s what I say. Are there property taxes related to the property? Those taxes will be his burden.


24 posted on 07/20/2011 11:39:18 AM PDT by griswold3 (Character is Destiny)
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To: biff
The owner walked away, leaving it to the mortgage company.

The mortgage company went bankrupt.

Likely the debtors of the mortgage company will eventually be awarded the assets including the title to this property.

But if there are enough debtors and properties involved, it might take more than three years before that get resolved.

25 posted on 07/20/2011 11:42:30 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears
The lights and water isn't on, therefore, he's nothing more than a squatter.

This clown is another Obamamite who has committed a criminal act. He should use this knowledge he has to get a home the right way.

I'll wager he's a convicted felon.

26 posted on 07/20/2011 11:43:52 AM PDT by Realman30 ("I've already made a donation to Haiti. It's called taxes". . . . El Rushbo.)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears
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.

Something for nothing.

Can one be sued and removed for not keeping the upscale property in an appropriate upscale condition?

27 posted on 07/20/2011 11:48:20 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.. VOTE out the RATS!)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Awesome.


28 posted on 07/20/2011 11:48:42 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Coburn is a traitor. Obama loves the Gang of Six.)
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To: JRios1968
The down side? Look at the big picture. ANYONE can move into a house like this for $16.

Let's say the house is only worth $200,000. Somebody is out $200,000 with little to no recourse. Just because this guy broke in and moved in an old couch. And you see no down side?

So the guy with 200K on the line has no rights? Multiply that by a million. Do you still see no down side?

What about the neighboring property owners? Do you think this guy is going to keep up the property? What do you think is going to happen to the value of their properties? Would you like a squatter with no "skin in the game" living next door to you? Multiply that by a million.

Do you see the down side? If stuff like this becomes the norm, its all over. Sell ALL your real estate, gather your guns and your family and head for the hills.

29 posted on 07/20/2011 11:50:33 AM PDT by Former Proud Canadian (We .. have a purpose .. no longer to please every dictator with a vote at the UN. PM Harper)
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To: Jeff Chandler

That’s really stretching the concept of Adverse Possession almost to the breaking point. It was meant to cover things like people walking through your property to get to the beach. If you don’t make any attempt to stop them or to cut-off access, after seven years it is assumed you don’t care and it is considered to be a public thoroughfare.


30 posted on 07/20/2011 11:51:20 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Realman30

“This clown is another Obamamite who has committed a criminal act. “

I too am suspicious of the squatter and wonder if this is a move by ACORN.


31 posted on 07/20/2011 11:53:30 AM PDT by texteacher
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

I’m very curious about his address.


32 posted on 07/20/2011 11:54:15 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (Watch what people DO, not what they say.)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

The county owns the house,He must pay the “rent/Taxes” no such thing as “ownership”!


33 posted on 07/20/2011 11:54:45 AM PDT by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date that will live in Infamy.)
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To: All

Watch as ACORN and similar Leftists groups start to take advantage of this. How would you like hoards of welfarists swarming into your neighbor.

Amazing how little thought is displayed around here where it is supposed to be important. I could understand DU cheering this kind of crap but FReepers? Geez are we screwed.


34 posted on 07/20/2011 11:56:39 AM PDT by arrogantsob (Why do They hate her so much?)
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To: cripplecreek

I do not see how he can live there without paying back taxes. Here in California if you are delinquent on your taxes they will seize your home and sell it at auction.
How is he getting around not paying taxes?


35 posted on 07/20/2011 11:57:11 AM PDT by funfan
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To: Realman30
He said he was able to add things to the legal document to protect him. Someone should check out the gov. office that agreed to sign-off on this(his)amended document. Smells like an ACORN operation in the works.

The mortgage crisis in this country is another shoe yet to drop. The banksters and other fraudsters may be the final straw in the fall of the republic.

36 posted on 07/20/2011 11:58:07 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears
Great, now I have to drop my home's price down to $15 just to make it competitive if I hope to sell.

LOL.

37 posted on 07/20/2011 11:59:54 AM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Texas Property law is pretty interesting. Adverse Possession kinda works in reverse too. In Texas if you own a piece of residential real estate or undeveloped property - with or without a structure and you own it with another person (non spouse) it is called Tenants in Common. This is just two people - not a commercial interest or business partnership. Anyway - if one of the co-tenants fails to uphold his or her financial contributions to pay for the property for a significant period of time (several years) then the paying co-tenant can file a petition to repudiate the ownership rights of the non contributing co-tenant. This is not a lawsuit per se... just a legally published notice. If it goes unchallenged via a lawsuit by the non paying co-tenant within certain period of time... the title is changed to show ownership by the paying co-tenant alone.


38 posted on 07/20/2011 12:01:05 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: Realman30

“This clown is another Obamamite who has committed a criminal act. He should use this knowledge he has to get a home the right way.”

“I’ll wager he’s a convicted felon.”


You get all that from just one picture of the guy?

Bummer for you that you didn’t beat him to this deal.


39 posted on 07/20/2011 12:01:26 PM PDT by panaxanax (0bama >>WORST PRESIDENT EVER.)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears
Adverse possession is an “obscure law”?

It's one of the first things a first-year law student learns about in Property Law.

40 posted on 07/20/2011 12:02:59 PM PDT by CT-Freeper (Visit CTF.org)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Yeah someone here said yesterday that this legal concept was in order to establish fencelines.


41 posted on 07/20/2011 12:04:36 PM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: panaxanax
You post like a liberal.

I'd rather be in a house with running water and the thermostat set at 75.

42 posted on 07/20/2011 12:04:41 PM PDT by Realman30 ("I've already made a donation to Haiti. It's called taxes". . . . El Rushbo.)
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To: biff

It may not be possible to find who ‘holds the paper’ on the home. During the foreclosure fiasco last year when there was a temporary hold on foreclosures in some states - it was shown that one reason for such a hold was that it was impossible to show who ‘holds the paper’ as some mortgage companies and mortgage security companies had gone belly up - the computer and paper records could not be located and may not even exist - destroyed. And in a number of cases the company servicing the mortgage had no clear documentation to show that they had the right to service the mortgage.


43 posted on 07/20/2011 12:07:16 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

As always, from the news reports on a legal issue it is impossible to understand all the facts.

As a Texas land title lawyer, there are several types of adverse possession, and it is not an “obscure law.” Depending on whether he obtained a written document of title, pays taxes, uses and possesses the property, title by adverse possession can become vested in as little as 3 years and as much as 25 years of actual possession.

I would say the record owner of this house could bring eviction proceedings immediately and get this guy out.


44 posted on 07/20/2011 12:08:02 PM PDT by con-surf-ative
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Lots of mixed reactions on this thread. My initial reaction was “Good for him!”, but my amended reaction is “This ain’t over by a long shot, now that it’s hit the news.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the impetus for new (or amended) legislation about adverse possession in Texas and elsewhere.

But if anyone else is claiming ownership rights to the house they should offer Mr. Robinson some walking away money to avoid a protracted court battle. 10% to 15% of the appraised value should work nicely.


45 posted on 07/20/2011 12:14:59 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( Piper Palin's mommy for president -- 2012 )))))
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

This whole story reeks of BS! Why would the owner of the house abandon the property because his mortgage company went bankrupt. I could see it if the owner went bankrupt. If MY mortgage company went bankrupt I would in fat city because I wouldn’t have to send payments in and who would kick me out as long as I paid the county taxes? Total BS.


46 posted on 07/20/2011 12:17:03 PM PDT by New Jersey Realist (Congress doesn't care a damn about "we the people")
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To: con-surf-ative
As always, from the news reports on a legal issue it is impossible to understand all the facts.

As a Texas land title lawyer, there are several types of adverse possession, and it is not an “obscure law.” Depending on whether he obtained a written document of title, pays taxes, uses and possesses the property, title by adverse possession can become vested in as little as 3 years and as much as 25 years of actual possession.

I would say the record owner of this house could bring eviction proceedings immediately and get this guy out.



As I understand the article, this fellow wants to avail himself of the provisions of the three-year statute. As I recall, he'll need to be able to show the court some kind of regular chain of title, or color of title, plus prove his peaceable, open and notorious occupancy of the premises for a period of three years without contest by the record title owner.

He apparently filed an instrument with the Denton County Clerk costing $16.00 in filing fees. That sounds like a one or two page instrument.

A forged deed might well be one or two pages. But if this fellow filed a forged deed and he wants to perfect an adverse possession claim under said forgery, I believe the statutory period for that is ten years, not three.

I'm with you, though...I think the successors of the bankrupt mortgage concern are probably going to respond to this guy by filing suit within the three year period. It's not like the interest held by the defunct mortgage company just disappeared...they have some successors somewhere. I'm pretty sure this squatter will be hearing from them at some point, given this publicity.
47 posted on 07/20/2011 12:30:16 PM PDT by Milton Miteybad (I am Jim Thompson. {Really.})
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To: New Jersey Realist
Why would the owner of the house abandon the property because his mortgage company went bankrupt.

The original "owner" walked away from the mortgage. Then the mortgage company went bust.

48 posted on 07/20/2011 12:31:38 PM PDT by Palter (Celebrate diversity .22, .223, .25, 9mm, .32 .357, 10mm, .44, .45, .500)
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To: con-surf-ative

If he has title to the property, he’d be wise to obtain an owners title insurance policy and then put the house up for sale ASAP. Another three times and he can buy a really nice pad.


49 posted on 07/20/2011 12:34:44 PM PDT by sanjuanbob (Festina Lente)
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To: cripplecreek

This is hilarious; the beneficiaries of the diversity-induced housing collapse are......diverse people...!

If I set fire to the ship I’m sailing on, usually that’s bad for me —I burn, then drown.

But here —they set china on the Captain’s table, then dine in fine style.


50 posted on 07/20/2011 12:50:48 PM PDT by gaijin
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