Incredible: Colorado Family Tries to Regain Home From Occupiers

Apparently a shady real estate agent used some “adverse possession” laws to sell a couple illegals an unoccupied home for $5,000. And the police won’t help them?

I can’t believe this happened in the first place, but:

“On Thursday, a judge in Arapahoe County ruled that Veronica Fernandez-Beleta and Jose Rafael Leyva-Caraveo, the two people who were living in the home, had to move out by Saturday morning. But as of Monday evening, Donovan, 43, said the two were still there.”

My question is why the owners can’t they just go home and call the police to report trespassers? Their name is on the deed and the mortgage, and there is a judge’s order.

In the article, it is said that the police won’t interfere because it is a civil matter.

I say they string up the real estate agent.

Squatters be squatting!

The older I get, the less patience I seem to have.

I honestly don’t know what I would do in this situation. But my first reaction was that I’d want to hire a capable team of eviction specialists and take back possession of my house. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

He apparently pulled the same scam a dozen or more times and is being charged with umpteen counts of fraud. Sadly, I doubt he still has the 5,000$ though.

Eviction is expensive and the original family is broke, unable to sell the house, unemployed and $20k behind on their mortgage payments. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to pay to have someone evicted so that you can move into a house that you very well may be evicted from in turn.

The thing is, the couple in the house do not really seem to have done anything wrong (aside, maybe, from their immigration status, which is beside the point). They too are victims of the crooked estate agent. (I prefer to pretend that people like that are not actual real.)

I don’t think this is a typical squatter situation. According to what they’ve said (and nobody has stepped forward to dispute it) the couple living in the house paid $5000 for what they were told was legal right to move into the house. They didn’t just sneak into the place in the middle of the night.

The Donovans are claiming they still own the house. But they’re also acknowledging that they’re a year and $20,000 behind on their mortgage payments and have no immediate prospects for catching up on that debt. So it’s not clear to me that their claim to own the house at this point is any better than the couple’s.

He’s not a “real” real estate agent. His license was revoked several years ago. Practicing without a license is one of the things he’s being charged with.

They still own the house. If the bank wants to forclose on them for non-payment (and I suspect that’s what will happen) they won’t own it anymore. But they own it now.

Agree the couple living in the house aren’t really “squatters” in the traditional sense though. They seem to have honestly thought they owned the house, which makes them rather gullible, but they weren’t trying to “sneak” anything by the real owners.

AKA La Famiglia. They’d make 'em an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Who is going to think they can buy a house for $5,000? The squatters were either ignorant or malicious.

The realtor apparently targeted recent immigrants. Presumably because they didn’t have a good idea of what housing cost in the US and with limited English skills, would be poorly equipped to do research on their own.

This defrocked real estate guy is quite an asshole, and to stupid to disappear after he runs a scam.

This has been a problem in quite a few states. It’s not just corrupt real estate agents. Some groups find homes where the owners are just gone on vacation, move in, sell off their possessions and can’t be removed without going thru an eviction process.

Remember, you have to prove that they aren’t legal tenants to get them out. Anyone can tell the police “Hey, those people are in my house illegally, I want them out!”

I think some laws need updating.

Do you have a cite? I can find cases where squatters move into foreclosed homes, cases like this where there was confusion about who actually owned the house due to fraud and one case in TX where a couple started to sell their home, but then the dropped the sale but moved in likewise. But I can’t really find any case where a house with an occupant on vacation had to have a squatter evicted (instead of just prosecuted for a crime) when there wasn’t some legitimate issue over who owned the house.

In cases where squatters like this just move in to a home that has a legal occupant on vacation and there isn’t any confusion about who actually owns the house, it appears the cops just treat it like a regular B&E or burglary.

Here’s another case, but again, it looks like the squatters are being prosecuted for B&E type crimes.

OK, I’m confused. Where in the article does it say that they are illegal immigrants? If they were illegal could they be considered legal tenants for any reason? I would think that once this situation came to light, $5,000 payment or not, they would be removed and deported.

Then there is the issue of who owns the house. Until the bank takes it back the Donovan family would seem to be the owners of the house. The agent is a known fraud and the court has ordered the new people out so how are they still there?

From the article:

What the hell!? Is this statement correct? You can’t really mean that I could come home and find some frauds with obviously fake paperwork in my house and not have them out the door that minute.

Like I said, I’m confused, but none of this sounds right to me. Can someone please clearly explain how anybody could just take over another persons home with no real proof of ownership?

Because the Donovan’s just filed an eviction request, and it apparently takes two to four weeks for the Sheriff’s dept’ to act on such requests. As the article says. In the third sentence.

Well, in this case it apparently wasn’t immediately obvious that the paperwork was fake, and so it had to go to court. But see my above post, in most cases it appears the cops just treat it like a B&E.

Sorry, still confused. It says that the court ordered them out of the house by Saturday. That seems to be separate from the eviction request, which was filed by the owners when the house was still occupied on Monday. Is there no way to enforce the court order or is that just pointless?

Also, please rein in the snark. I’m only asking because I want to know. This whole thing is weird to me and sounds like it shouldn’t be possible.

The eviction request is the mechanism by which the court order is enforced.

I obtained an eviction notice for tenants who weren’t paying rent, electricity or water bills. The police never did evict them. They hung around for three more months before they went to live down the street with a relative.
I think the police just didn’t want to screw around with it.

It appears ignorance is the case here. There apparently is a procedure in Colorado (and other states) for reclaiming a house that’s been abandoned.

This particular house didn’t qualify under these laws. But the real estate agent was able to convince the couple that the house did qualify as abandoned and they could reclaim it and took five thousand dollars from them to “file their claim”.