Over the past few days it seems that the informal name of this blog: “From the Trenches” is becoming more and more fitting. Florida foreclosure defense has become part of our everyday life – radio, TV, Internet, print.
Let me explain. On Friday on the front page of the New York Times headline Squatters Call Foreclosures Home one could not help to miss an unbelievable story about folks in Miami who squat in foreclosed homes. They move in — usually at night — after the bank takes ownership. They sign contracts with the electric company, water and maybe even cable TV. The banks are slow to throw them out and so is the sheriff. In fact various advocacy groups help people move back into their “own” home after they have been foreclosed.
Arguably, the homes and the neighborhood are better off having the homes occupied than having an abandoned home without any electric power rotting on the block. Legally, it can get interesting because after a few days the banks can lose the power of the sheriff and the squatters need to be legally ejected through a formal court proceeding called an ejectment.
In fact we had a case recently where after a sale the seller was informally permitted to stay in the home for a few days past the closing date. Soon the few days became weeks and the weeks became months. The police refused to get involved and we had to bring an ejectment action to get the old “owners” out of the residence.