Friday, November 12, 2010

More Real Estate

I had expected the "bando" phenomenon to take off this year and was wrong. Mood and the markets it drives have held up better than I expected to this point. But the basic supply and demand phenomenon remains - lots of abandoned properties intersecting with growing numbers of homeless people or people in need of lower rent payments and an immoral dark empire of fraudulent real estate transactions lending a moral air to the adverse possession of homes by men and women desparate enough to give it a try.

At Legal Fringe, Empty Houses Go to the Needy
by Catherine Skipp and Damien Cave, New York Times
Save Florida Homes Inc. and its owner, Mark Guerette, have found foreclosed homes for several needy families here in Broward County, and his tenants could not be more pleased. Fabian Ferguson, his wife and two children now live a two-bedroom home they have transformed from damaged and abandoned to full and cozy.

There is just one problem: Mr. Guerette is not the owner. Yet....

...Michael Allan Wolf, a real estate expert at the University of Florida law school, said adverse possessors also disrupt the chain of title. Rightful owners end up having to evict tenants. The time between foreclosure and legitimate resale may be extended....

I added the bold to that snippet about screwing up the chain of title. Professor Wolf neglects to mention other things that might disrupt the chain of title. These include the big banks baiting homeowners who call in to have their mortgages reworked into missing three payments so they can qualify for a modification program, then foreclosing on them and ignoring the fact they told them to stop payment, or the fact that big banks are churning out fraudulent documentation to support shaky claims to title. But I forget, when Banksters break the law and commit fraud, it isn't illegal. When common folks do it, they get jail time. Gotta keep that in mind. This is why the assault on the Rule of Law by the financial elites is so poisonous. It feeds down into the general population, eating away at centuries of work to make the ideal of Justice and the primacy of Law the centerpiece of civilization.

This is another fault line to keep an eye on. When these tresspassers/desparate fellow citizens find conditions worsening and they feel that right and morality is on their side when they seize these properties, it has the making for an explosive cocktail that could lock up real estate transactions for decades...

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