Skip to comments.Man uses obscure law to claim ownership of $300k home in upscale Texas town... for just $16
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 ...
This is in Flower Mound, Texas
Send him the tax bill.
I don’t see the down side...good on him for being well-informed.
“Mr Robinson used the obscure law ‘adverse possession’,....”
Adverse possession ... AKA “squatters’ rights”.
The law’s the law.
Wish I had known about this deal!
“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.
The law is the law but if I was the county I would sure send him the tax bill.
He’ll pay property taxes going forward. He doesn’t owe back taxes on this property.
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.
I doubt it is the only house in this situation.
There are thousands of homes in the same situation, right now, in Dallas/Ft Worth, I’m sure.
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.
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.
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.
Read the law.
There is much you can do.
Very few do read the law. Those who do can do well.
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
There is going to be a lot of this around the country in the next ten years.
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.
That’s what I say. Are there property taxes related to the property? Those taxes will be his burden.
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.
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.
Something for nothing.
Can one be sued and removed for not keeping the upscale property in an appropriate upscale condition?
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.
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.
“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.
I’m very curious about his address.
The county owns the house,He must pay the “rent/Taxes” no such thing as “ownership”!
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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.”
Bummer for you that you didn’t beat him to this deal.
It's one of the first things a first-year law student learns about in Property Law.
Yeah someone here said yesterday that this legal concept was in order to establish fencelines.
I'd rather be in a house with running water and the thermostat set at 75.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The original "owner" walked away from the mortgage. Then the mortgage company went bust.
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.
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.