Cheap Digs: Squatter Claims Ownership of $2.5 Million Florida Mansion

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Bill Ingram / MCT / ZUMA PRESS

This waterfront home in Boca Raton, Fla., photographed on Jan. 25, 2013, is being occupied by a 23-year-old squatter named Andre Barbosa.

A $2.5 million South Florida mansion has been taken over by a crafty squatter and the police are powerless to order an eviction.

The 7,500 square-foot residence in Boca Raton, Fla., is currently being inhabited by Brazilian national André Barbosa. The 23-year-old is using an antiquated legal covenant called “adverse possession” that allows a vacant property’s title to be acquired by anyone openly occupying and maintaining the site and paying real estate tax for seven years.

(MOREHas America Become a Nation of Squatters?)

“Nobody’s happy – we all spent a lot of money to live on this street,” a neighbor told ABC News. “This guy is trying to pull something.”

However, Bank of America, which foreclosed on the property at 580 Golden Harbour Drive in July, has now issued a legal challenge to eject Barbosa as well as collect $15,000 in legal fees and compensation.

The five-bedroom waterfront home had sat unoccupied for around 18 months before the current “tenant” took possession and filed papers to contend ownership at Florida’s Property Appraisers Office. Barbosa, who goes by the nickname “Loki boy,” posted a signed copy of his legal claim in the front window of the house, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel.

Cases of adverse possession being used by squatters to acquire real estate have spiked since the economic downturn. A total of 38 such claims have been made to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser over the past three years, reports the Palm Beach Post.

However, American judges aren’t always sympathetic to adverse possession claimants. David Cooper, 26, was found guilty of burglary and theft in Tarrant County, Texas, in November after he tried to use the law to take ownership of a $400,000 house in North Arlington.

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54 comments
dagumol
dagumol

“Nobody’s happy – we all spent a lot of money to live on this street,” a neighbor told ABC News.


In other words, "His crap doesn't smell like tulips like ours does."

DanP
DanP

Say no more after seeing Bank of America's name. That bank is #1 of the banks that started our decline into recession. You go Loki boy.... show that Bank of Anerica how it is to be screwed back!

CieloPerdomo
CieloPerdomo

It says after paying real estate taxes for SEVEN YEARS. This house was empty for just 18 months. He really doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

NeilForme
NeilForme

I bought a house in California and the son of the woman who sold it to me refused to leave and had a trailer parked near the house.  The Realtors told him he had to leave several times over the period of 30 days.  He was a drunk, threatened people, including the Realtors, etc.

The day of the sale, I just showed up with my two dogs and released them (it was 40 acres) and I loaded my 44 Magnum pistol.  Ironically, the son was able to pack and remove the trailer within 15 minutes of my arrival.

THAT is how you deal with the squatters, the worthless, and the manipulators who try to take advantage of the legal system, the courts, and all ethical arrows that point to their lawless activity.  

Had I not exercised "self help" remedies, the son would have undoubtedly stayed on the property, forced me to file a formal eviction notice, go through the courts, etc., TAKING UP TO 90 DAYS before the Sheriff would have come out and had him leave.  My method?  Took 15 minutes.  If this were my property, I would show up in the middle of the night, grab him, take him several states away, and remove all evidence that he ever existed in the property... but I would have done it IMMEDIATELY when he first did this so that he would not have established himself as a so-called tenant.  We need to correct our ethical slide in the US immediately.

ruraynor
ruraynor

Hmm, would I rather have an empty house rotting on my street, or one with someone in it? Option 2! People are more important that property. House prices should not matter, shelter is more important that wealth. When I'm done with university I'm planning to start squatting- they outlawed squatting in residential properties in the UK but not commercial ones and my town is full of empty office buildings, some of which have never been filled. Why kill yourself working to pay extortionate rents? The landlord got lucky, buying his property in a time when you didn't need much of a deposit to buy a flat. My generation cannot afford homes, we are stuck in limbo. Occupy the empty buildings and let us live our lives. 

df23
df23

I'd like to see his receipts for the seven years of real estate taxes.

Heian
Heian

Lot of people didn't read this article, through, or didn't full comprehend it. The property was unoccupied for 18 months BEFORE he moved into it. It didn't say that he had only been there 18 months.

Please stop chiming in with "Well duh he's only been there 18 months, case closed I'm so clever!". It's embarrassing to watch.

mmillard007
mmillard007

It's amazing how vicious people can be toward each other when there is no chance of  accountability for our words.  It's a sad result of the Internet and the not so Social Communitties that have been created.

For what ever reason it appears the cops  can not evict him. Perhaps because the rightful owner had not yet requested it? Then again perhaps some tenant laws are causing issues.  I recall reading about a man in Arizona loosing some of his land to squaters because he couldn't evit them because of laws that were poorly written and by the time he could  force them off they were the rightfull owners because of Squatter rights. 

It's a sad world where politicians do more to protect thieves and criminals than the regular citizen.

And they wonder why 15% of us are happy with Congress.

420kronik
420kronik

Hey isnt this what the white man has essentially done to the Native Americans? Why isnt it ok for him? because hes not white.... 

ParaLethal
ParaLethal

Have to love a legal story where the writer has no idea about the law... Adverse possession has a minimum requirement, like stated in the first paragraph. If he has only been in the house for 18 months than how has completed his requirements under the adverse possession law? 1 semester of property law and I can figure this out faster than the county full of people this house is located in... sheesh

Tired
Tired

Did anyone read that and I quote " is currently being inhabited by Brazilian national André Barbosa."

He is not even a citizen of the United States.

Deport this leach on his dime and then make him pay restitution to a local soup kitchen.

I am so sick and tired of hearing these stories of people trying to take things that they did not work for.

When did we become a society that everyone is owed something. 

Very sickening.




Badly-Bent
Badly-Bent

I know of no laws that protect him from eviction so that he can stay there for the next 5 1/2 years.  Its a case of simple eviction and the sheriff should lock him up for grand theft.

YiorgiosAlexander
YiorgiosAlexander

Humm...  As the article stated: “adverse possession” that allows a vacant property’s title to be acquired by anyone openly occupying and maintaining the site and paying real estate tax for seven years..."  ..   Sounds like he does not have a case.  He would have had to pay property taxes for 7 years.   At most, he would have lived there for 18 months.  I doubt he could afford the property taxes...



jlmazour
jlmazour

Good for him!  Obviously Bank of America owns too many homes to keep track of them.  Start giving these homes away to people who need shelter!  There are about 6 empty homes per homeless person in the U.S. Most of these people are homeless because big banks like BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc preyed on the less fortunate and gambled with our economy and lost.  I say let's give every homeless person in the US a home!!  Make the banks pay for their crisis!!!

cocobinay
cocobinay

The downside of enjoying what you haven't earned (or contributed to) is that when it all comes to bite you in the rear, you will wonder if it was all worth the trouble; that is, if you are equipped to think that far ahead!

reuscherf
reuscherf

Gonna lose, he doesn't meet the requirements.

guigsy
guigsy

In a country of litigation these 'crimes', which is what they really are, are resolved easily by old world methods. Have some 'friends' visit him........

emagardomyan
emagardomyan

@NeilForme And then the District Attorny would turn around and charge you with kidnapping, interstate human trafficing and a whole host of other charges. Yeah, that's really a much smarter move. LOL

dogchapman
dogchapman

@NeilForme -your method borders on a criminal act even though you may be right in principle, it is also a different dynamic.  The main problem with your method in this case is that of the neighbors making complaints none of them have any legal claim of ownership & have no legal property rights to the home themselves. This is an issue between BofA & the current occupant. Also there is no proof he even broke into the property, the doors may have been unlocked, he may have had a key...no one really knows. Also he appears to be maintaining it better than the bank had been. The other part of the story is that the one neighbor who is complaining wants to buy the property & is miffed that someone is trying to trump her with a legal process. The ironic part is that one neighbor actually trespassed herself when she went to the front door, found it unlocked & then proceeded to enter the property & walk around with a local film crew. She basically entered a home that she has no legal right to & is known to be occupied, she could have been shot. How is what he is trying to do much different than someone who buys the tax certificate of a property & then will apply for a tax deed only after 3 years to obtain possession???? 

CameronJones
CameronJones

In this case, it seems like no one's trying to buy the house.  If that guy wasn't in it, no one would be.

JessicaKnorr
JessicaKnorr

@ruraynor your assumption someone "got lucky" to own something is what is wrong with society. You are not owed anything and that includes someone elses property. This is not finders, keepers. You are a grown up and should have a little more pride in yourself then to steal someones property to live in because you supposedly cannot afford to pay rent somewhere. I only hope that you become victim to some lowlife like yourself who decides to take your property in a similar manner should you ever "get lucky" and actually buy something and pay for it.

Entitled
Entitled

@Heian What is embarrassing is watching your hostility towards people that you perceive are dumber than you. You are in a glass house on this one for the article did not preclude the interpretation that the tenant lived there for 18 months.

It should have gone a little deeper rather than depending upon people such as BoytonResident to fill in the gap.

BoyntonResident
BoyntonResident

@Heian It doesn't say it in this article, but I live in the same county and he has only been living there for a month.  This was just initial paperwork.  To get final title to the property he needs to now continue to live there for 7 years and pay all liens and property taxes without being evicted by the owner.  Will never happen... Just a really nice free place to live for a few months.

TheUnnamed
TheUnnamed

Perhaps for your second semester you will consider a critical readnig course.  Then you might be able to discern that the article states that the adverse possessor occupied the house after it was vacant for 18 months, and not that he asserted adverse possession after merely 18 months of possession.

df23
df23

@Tired Entitlements, man, entitlements.  Everyone thinks they have the right to a good job, a nice house, etc, just like the fool in this article.  Wake up, people.  Society owes you s**t.

melmelhagopian
melmelhagopian

@TiredYou my friend, are an idiot.  If the law allows a person to take a piece of property which is sitting there and collecting dust.  Why should the Brazilian or anyone else not do it?  Just because he is a Brazilian National does not mean he is here illegally.


If the banks could use a law to kick you out of your house and take what you worked for they would do exactly the same thing.  I see nothing wrong here.


When did this become a country of a bunch of haters like you.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

@Tired I see no indication that his country of origin is relevant to the situation. He might be in the country illegally, but there's no way to know from the article.. There are many foreign nationals in the U.S. that are here legally. Do you always make such assumptions, or is this a one-time case?

floridashowjumper
floridashowjumper

@Badly-Bent An eviction can only take place if the person occupying the property had permission to be there in the first place. In this case, the only law protecting him is adverse protection. He legally went to the county and filed a legal claim. I honestly do not believe he can afford the taxes on the property and its upkeep which is required. The taxes for the 2012 tax roll for it are, $7019.34. It is sad that this can be allowed, but eviction cannot happen. 

overbear
overbear

@jlmazour They did not earn it, they do not deserve it, PERIOD. Its not yours to give away, its owned by the banks, you want to give away property, buy it first.

WayneGage
WayneGage

@jlmazour The banks did not cause the crisis. The government caused the crisis and blamed the banks. That makes you a dupe.

ScottChaney
ScottChaney

Bank of America doesn't have any friends.

JessicaKnorr
JessicaKnorr

the man residing in the home had no legal right to enter it...so its ok for him but not for the woman with the film crew??

melmelhagopian
melmelhagopian

@overbear You sire are an idiot who does not appreciate the laws of this land.  You should move to Communist China where you belong.

Heian
Heian

@WayneGage @jlmazour I did not realize that the government had falsified loan ratings and bet against the market!

melmelhagopian
melmelhagopian

@NateHawthorne You are also an idiot.  Why are you defending a bank who would without hesitation kick your dumb ass out of your house the second it was legally allowed to do so.  You should change your name the Stephen.  "But Monsieur Candie, she run off."

jlmazour
jlmazour

@NateHawthorne @jlmazour My home is happily occupied right now.  You must not have fully read my post - let me rephrase:

Let's give every homeless person a bank-owned home that is currently sitting empty for no good reason other than the banks have too many homes to do anything with them!  

And while we are on the subject of banks paying for THEIR crisis, let's talk about principle reduction for underwater homeowners!  

overbear
overbear

@ScottChaney Give me a plane ticket, $5000, and I will gladly be BofA's friend and go evict the criminal scum.

JessicaKnorr
JessicaKnorr

@CieloPerdomo thank you!! The people commenting on this article basically saying he should be able to stay would not be so giving if they were the ones who owned the home.

WayneGage
WayneGage

@Heian @WayneGage @jlmazour The government created the housing market by mandating banks to make high risk loans. This is not the first time. Whenever the government mandates banks to make loans, bubbles are created. The redistribution of wealth by government is an economic destroyer.

lyndseymarieee
lyndseymarieee

@WayneGage Contributing to society would be paying more than 10% on taxes when you make a seven figure income.

WayneGage
WayneGage

@imbillday Do some research instead of blaming those that make a real contribution to society. The rich are not the enemy, those that take away our freedom are the enemy.

NateHawthorne
NateHawthorne

@melmelhagopian @NateHawthorneFirst of all I pay my bills so I don't have to worry about that...and if I wanted I could sell quite a few shares and pay off my house...both of them. I don't take things that don't belong to me so "you get the molasses out your ass, and you keep your g*ddamn eyeballs off me!"

NateHawthorne
NateHawthorne

@jlmazour I read your post and while that is a nice thing to do you'd just open the flood gates to people who feel like they are entitled to a home. Why should I pay my mortgage I will just let the bank foreclose leave for a day and then move back in because "now I'm homeless"...and "this home is no longer occupied" so now I live for free.

jman59
jman59

If you would dig a bit deeper, this was not entirely the result of the banks being greedy.  How many people out there tried to buy homes (with 0 down or faked thier income) with the assumption they would autonatically appreciate.   This is a cultural issue that is a problem with our society here in the US.

This is not THEIR crisis, but all of ours.   Think deeeper before you sharing your opinion.