Home title theft, according to Rocket Mortgage, is “when someone illegally steals your identity and transfers your house title to their name to steal money or property. Identity theft is usually necessary for title fraud because the thief needs to make the forged home deed look legitimate.”
After that, the criminal may try to resell or rent your property or get a home equity line of credit on your property without your knowledge.
In addition to title theft, stories of “squatters” has been running rampant lately. A squatter is someone (or a group of someones) who illegally occupy a piece of land without lawful permission.
Gee, police. Seems like that would fall under something like trespassing or breaking and entering – regardless of when the last time the owner lived or used the property. But no. As usual, the squatters seem to have most of the rights and the homeowners not so much.
In New York State, incredulously enough, a squatter who continuously occupies a property for 30 days can gain legal rights to remain on the property as a tenant of the owner even though they have no lease agreement.
America: Land of the freeloader, home of the squatter.
Recently, a lawsuit was filed by the widow of a man who was killed by a squatter next door to him and his family. The widow is suing the city. According to Fox News, the squatter had terrorized the family for months and despite more than a dozen calls to 911, nothing was done about the violent squatter even though he broke into their home and threw stones and bricks through their windows.
In Minneapolis, residents of an apartment building are sick and tired of the violent squatters in their building and are angry with the management that is ignoring the problem. They are asking for help from the city and the non-profit that owns the property citing dangerous conditions. A resident of the building told Fox 9, “I feel abandoned, and I feel like I’m living in a garbage dump.” The resident, who said she was assaulted when trying to stop a squatter from stealing her mail, ended up with a broken bone near her eye and didn’t want to be identified because she feared retribution.
The squatters, who live in the hallways and laundry room, have also piled up used needles next to the dumpster.
Even Phil Collins wasn’t immune from a squatter. In his case, it was his ex-wife who moved into his $40 mansion with her new hubby. Collins sued his ex, Orianne Cevey, over her “armed occupation and takeover” of his Miami mansion and case has been settled which included Cevey leaving the home by the end of January.
Fox News’ Lawrence Jones went to Jacksonville, Florida recently to talk to homeowners. In his meeting with them, they told him about how their home was ravaged by squatters. Jones says the squatting is “happening all across the country” and we’ve seen it all over the news – both with squatters in homes and also taking over streets, sidewalks and public property as well.