Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another Sale Of Vacant Foreclosed Home Hits Snag As Squatter Hijacks Title, Possession Of House With Dubious Deed Shortly After Prospective Buyer Enters Purchase Contract

In Atlanta, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:
  • An Atlanta home buyer’s purchase is at a standstill while the courts decide whether squatters have occupied her new home.

    The woman told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr that she does not want to be identified for safety reasons. Just two weeks ago she put earnest money down during an offer on a Southwest Atlanta home. She’d made three visits to the move-in ready house on Hayward Place. Photos show it was freshly painted with new carpet and no appliances.

    The day after the offer was submitted, a realtor discovered the "For Sale" sign was missing, and a "No Trespassing" sign was in the window alongside a quitclaim. A man is telling Fulton County the home was gifted to him by a relative.

    “The selling agent went to the house on Friday, had the locks changed and said to my agent, ‘Okay we’re set to go,'” recalled the home buyer. “'We can have the appraiser out there on Monday and she can do her inspection Tuesday.’”

    When the selling agent and appraiser returned this week, they said a man answered the door. Three children were behind him. He claimed to be a renter.

    “It’s just wrong, and I don’t want him to get away with this with anybody else,” the home buyer said.

    Carr looked up property records showing the bank-owned home went into foreclosure in October 2016 and remains that way. The seller’s agency keeps the utilities on, and the postal service confirmed it's not authorized to deliver mail there because its record shows the home is unoccupied.

    No one answered the door during Carr’s two visits to the home Thursday afternoon, but a deputy had been there earlier. He served the occupants and the man claiming to own the home with a summons for illegal occupancy. They must report to the courts within seven days to prove they have the right to be in the home.

    Deborah Jennings is a Heyward Place neighbor who said there’s been high traffic in the home for the past month.

    “It’s never a group of people, and it’s never the same person,” Jennings told Carr. “It’s always one at a time…just men. All men, and the cars have been black. Like six different cars in and out.”

    The home buyer said she’s filed a complaint with Fannie Mae and is awaiting the court’s decision.

    “I don’t know. I’m really thinking about stepping out of this,“ she said.

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