Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mansion squatters in Seattle

by Calculated Risk on 8/22/2010 05:50:00 PM

Note: Here is the Weekly Summary for last week, and the Schedule for next week (will be busy!).

A bizarre story from Danny Westneat at the Seattle Times: Mansion squatters return in a big way (ht Laura)

Mark von der Burg [is] the Eastside real-estate agent who, two months ago while prepping for an open house to sell a $3.3 million mansion in Kirkland, was stunned to find that complete strangers had moved in and were staking a tortured legal claim to the foreclosed property.
Von der Burg says that while the mansion-squatting story may have been entertaining — it ended when police retook control of the house for the bank that owned it — it cost his client, a bank, $35,000 in ... So count him as not amused that this week, the same team of squatters apparently attempted to stake claims to three new mansions on the Eastside ... Police say no one has as yet moved into any of the houses. But all three had letters tacked to the front doors ordering anyone claiming ownership "to surrender possession within three days." And then threatening "judicial proceedings" against anyone who doesn't comply.
These squatters sounds like upscale "bandos"1, but it sounds like they are really just scammers - looking for something for nothing. The real estate bust has really brought out the worst in some people.

1 "Bandos" are homeless people who live in abandoned homes.