When I first heard about this law of “adverse possession” which allowed for a Georgia man to possess an abandoned mansion without having to pay mortgage, I was thinking that this wasn’t going to last. One or two people may get away with it until it catches on.

Well, it’s catching on.

Item:  A Dallas squatter,Kenneth Robinson, (above) was ‘evicted’ from his mansion after eight months of mortgage free-living.  He even got cocky enough to advertise on how to do it. I can’t find any information on the Georgia man, but I am sure he’s been evicted as well.

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 Robinson’s 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.  ABC

The moral of this story:   All good and bad things must come to an end.

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