Amidst many foreclosures across the country, one Texas man believes he has found a way to acquire a suburban McMansion for $16. The move involves invoking “adverse possession” to take possession of the $300,000 home:
“This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known,” he said. “It’s just not known to everybody.”
He says an online form he printed out and filed at the Denton County courthouse for $16 gave him rights to the house. The paper says the house was abandoned and he’s claiming ownership…
But, Robinson said just by setting up camp in the living room, Texas law gives him exclusive negotiating rights with the original owner. If the owner wants him out, he would have to pay off his massive mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a complicated lawsuit.
Robinson believes because of the cost, neither is likely. The law says if he stays in the house, after three years he can ask the court for the title.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as it would require someone, the true owner, the bank holding the mortgage, or the government, to move this guy out. It is funny that the neighbors seem to be the ones leading the charge against this guy: are they simply jealous that he was able to acquire a home for this little money?
But perhaps this story hints at a positive side effect of the foreclosure crisis: states and other governmental bodies get a chance to review all sorts of laws regarding mortgages, foreclosures, and housing possession.