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Thread: Texas Squatter With $16 McMansion Kicked Out After 8 Months

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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    Texas Squatter With $16 McMansion Kicked Out After 8 Months

    Kenneth Robinson has finally been kicked out of the $340,000 home that he had lived in since June for $16.
    Robinson, 51, lived on Waterford Drive in Flower Mound, Texas, but he did not own or rent the home he claimed he had a right to live in. After the owner abandoned the property, which had been in foreclosure for over a year, and the mortgage company reportedly went out of business, he submitted a $16 filing fee at the local courthouse, claiming the law of "adverse possession" gave him the right to occupy the home.

    However, a judge in Denton County ruled Monday that the current lienholder, Bank of America, can force Robinson out. Robinson had became a local celebrity of sorts, writing an eBook and creating a website, http://16dollarhouse.com, about the home in which he lived for about eight months. On his site, he states, "I am successful because I can see it no other way."

    After the judge's decision, he told the Associated Press that he had moved out, ending what he called a "huge learning experience." Prosecutors are cracking down on others hoping to emulate Robinson.

    Adverse possession is a common law concept developed in the 1800s. According to Lucas A. Ferrara, a partner in Newman Ferrara, a New York City real estate law firm, adverse possession was enacted to ensure that property wasn't abandoned and was "maintained and monitored." It requires the posting of a clear, public notice that someone is at the property -- hence the court filing -- and that someone would remain there for a specific period of time, usually 10 years.

    After the time requirement is satisfied, the Robinsons of the world have the opportunity to claim clear title to the property. In the meantime, the original property owner could fight the action, but it would be costly. And since the house has already been abandoned, it's not likely the original owner would wage an expensive legal battle to get it back. The mortgage holder would have to fight a court action too.

    The growing number of abandoned homes brought on by the foreclosure crisis has produced a small buzz around the idea of adverse possession.

    A spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, however, said adverse possession was not common nor on the association's radar screen. But a quick Google search, however, turned up plenty of websites willing to show anyone how to do what Ken Robinson did. At AdversePossession.com, for example, for a mere $39.95, "average people" can learn how to "acquire valuable real estate for free." The site takes steps to assure potential Robinsons that adverse possession is not squatting. "Squatter," says the site, "is an unfortunate and negative term used to describe someone who unlawfully occupies a vacant property or other real estate." Nor is occupying abandoned homes for financial gain immoral, according to the site. It's "doing the neighborhood a favor."

    Robinson's former neighbors saw the situation differently. After he first moved in, they told local reporters that "If he [Robinson] wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to. ..." And Ferrara said, "it's quite an un-American notion that someone can take another's property without paying for it. ... After all, even the government has to pay for your property if it decides to take it from you."

    David DeCosse, the director of campus ethics programs at the Markkulla Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said that even though Robinson may have a right to do what he's doing, it's not necessarily the right thing to do.

    Some of the great moral thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, said DeCosse, would argue that in the case of an extreme emergency, it would be OK to do something like take food from a grocery store because food is meant to support and address human needs. So stealing would be OK in certain circumstances. But if there is no emergency, "it offends our moral sensibilities," said DeCosse. "What may be legally permissible is not necessarily ethically right."
    http://gma.yahoo.com/texas-squatter-...-abc-news.html







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    I'm sorry. But this is a race issue. Call me an *******, but if you saw the news report a couple of months back you would have seen that it was a black man working within the law. No matter how obscure or vague that law might be. I would bet money that if it was a white guy doing the exact same thing those neighbors would be applauding the effort and kicking themselves for not doing the same thing.

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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisturbedShifty View Post
    I'm sorry. But this is a race issue. Call me an *******, but if you saw the news report a couple of months back you would have seen that it was a black man working within the law. No matter how obscure or vague that law might be. I would bet money that if it was a white guy doing the exact same thing those neighbors would be applauding the effort and kicking themselves for not doing the same thing.

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    Complete nonsense. If it was a white dude, asian dude or anyone for that matter, this guy was an opportunist taking advantage of the system. He deserved to get kicked out regardless of skin color.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphins9954 View Post
    Complete nonsense. If it was a white dude, asian dude or anyone for that matter, this guy was an opportunist taking advantage of the system. He deserved to get kicked out regardless of skin color.
    Bet your response would be different if it was you that had the opportunity to do what this guys was doing. And don't tell me you wouldn't. Because anyone in their right mind would, and will, try it.

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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisturbedShifty View Post
    Bet your response would be different if it was you that had the opportunity to do what this guys was doing. And don't tell me you wouldn't. Because anyone in their right mind would, and will, try it.

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    Actually I was in a somewhat similar situation a few years back. When the house we were renting come to find out was under foreclosure. Sheriffs came to the door to serve papers. Turned out I was paying rent to a guy that wasn't paying on his house and was milking us for money because the house was already in the courts. I told the guy I wasn't paying him anymore and moved out. I never believed I had the right to live their rent free and take advantage of a situation. My first goal was to get out of that house as soon as possible. This guy believed he had a right to live there no matter what.
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    Another arsehole working the system.

    At least this one finally got booted.

    What happened to getting what you want through hard work? Seems like too many people these days simply look for the easy scam.

    We're getting soft, I tell ya.
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    How did the guy originally gain access to the house? I am sure the key was under the mat.
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