Sunday, June 10, 2012

Serial Squatter Turns Down $4K Cash For Keys Offer, Then Gets Pinched With 11 Felony Charges In Adverse Possession Vacant Home-Hijacking Racket

In Detroit, Michigan, The Detroit News reports:

  • Nine years ago, the six-bedroom, brick and stone Tudor Revival in the city's Palmer Woods neighborhood sold for almost $480,000. So neighbors got suspicious when its new occupant pulled up in a U-Haul last fall and used garbage bags to block the windows of the 4,400-square-foot house.

  • Thus began an elaborate cat-and-mouse game between some of the city's most elite residents — including judges and lawyers — and a man prosecutors allege is a serial squatter. For eight months, residents badgered a bank that owned the foreclosed home, persuaded utilities to shut off power, blocked the driveway with large rocks and put glue in the front door lock to keep the squatter out.

  • "The judges were calling here trying to see what we could do," said Anthony Cartwright, a broker whose firm, North American Real Estate, markets the home for Fannie Mae. "I said, 'You're a judge.'"

  • Residents won last week when prosecutors charged Clarence Boykin Jr., 53, with 11 felonies accusing him of filing false ownership paperwork on three houses, including two in Palmer Woods. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf Tuesday at Wayne County Circuit Court and he remains jailed.

  • Experts say the battle demonstrates the severity of the squatting problem in foreclosure-ravaged Detroit and the lengths homeowners must go to oust illegal occupants. [...] Even Detroit's finest neighborhoods aren't immune, and the odds are stacked against neighbors.

  • Fannie Mae couldn't evict Boykin from the six-bedroom house because the foreclosure was recent. By law, owners have six months to reclaim foreclosed property. And Boykin filed paperwork claiming it was his, Cartwright said.

  • Cartwright's firm even offered the squatter $4,000 to leave for "relocation assistance." He refused. "He (Boykin) said he was going to court to get the property," Cartwright said. "There's always a loophole, which he followed."

No comments: