Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suspect In $3.3M Mansion-Squatting Case To Continuing Pursuing Claim To It & Ten Other Foreclosed, Bank-Owned Seattle-Area Homes

In Kirkland, Washington, staff columnist Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times observes:

  • I figured the arrest of the Kirkland mansion squatter last week would be the end of that crazy story. But it only gets curiouser and curiouser. As we go down the rabbit hole of the housing meltdown. The woman who was hauled away for squatting in a $3.3 million house? She has no intention of backing down.

  • She's going to keep staking her claim to a house she insists nobody actually owns. Plus she is staking claims to 10 other houses in the Seattle area that have gone into foreclosure and been passed from bank to bank. She's doing it all, she insists, not to make money. But to stick it to the banks.

  • "Banks do whatever they want and nobody holds them accountable," Jill Lane said by phone from Disneyland, where she was vacationing after being released by Kirkland police. [...] "This is a national movement," seconded Jim McClung, a former Bothell real-estate agent and owner of NW Note Elimination, a company he runs with Lane that counsels people in how to "eliminate mortgages" as well as take over empty, foreclosed houses. "What happened in Kirkland is just the tip of the iceberg."

  • It sure is, suggests the FBI. Last week the feds released a report saying housing-related schemes are soaring, including what the agency called "property theft targeting bank-owned properties." People file false deeds on houses in foreclosure, either to try to take them over or to bamboozle the police and courts long enough to rent them out to unsuspecting tenants, the FBI says.

For more, see Mansion squatter not finished.

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