Squatters Taking Possession of Bank-Owned Homes
“We Just Found a Legal Way to Make Millions”
Shawn Pendegraft thought he’d found east street on his way to make millions — taking over foreclosed homes in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area.
Pendegraft and five accomplices would set-up trusts and use them to file deeds on properties in the $800,000 price range. They then filed $1.2 million in fake liens against the homes and moved into at least one of the homes. ABC-11 in Charlotte gives the rest of the account.
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That’s North Carolina Can It Happen Here?
Well, squatters moving into the homes isn’t a new thing and “Cousin Eddy” highlighted that squatters weren’t just in run-down communities. For those that forget, Randy Quaid – “Cousin Eddy” of National Lampoon fame – and his wife were arrested for trespassing after being found squatting on their foreclosed mansion.
But could squatters actually claim ownership of the home in Ohio? Toby asked that question to several local auditors and the response was chirping crickets. The short answer is “I don’t think so, but considering that no one responded I’m not sure.”
Umm … Okay, so Why Do You Say That?
Okay, Ohio is a court-ordered foreclosure state which makes it much harder for anyone to claim or prove ownership of a home.
What Can We Do?
The biggest thing that can be done is to keep your eyes and ears open. If something looks strange take a second to call the local police department’s non-emergency number.
Be on the look out for:
- Same car visiting over and over
- U-hauls or trucks being parked at the lcoatino for an extensive amount of time
- Items being removed or added to the property.
Of course there are numberous other signs of “foul play” when it comes to these situations. But a strong neighborhood can help thwart crooks from the start.