How do I determine if these shady new neighbors are squatters?
April 29, 2014 11:23 AM Subscribe
I share a fence with a single family detached home in Nassau County, NY and am concerned that it is being occupied by squatters. Help?
posted by waterisfinite to Law & Government (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In 2011, the "original" homeowners moved out of state and put the house on the market. After a few hundred days on the market, the house was listed on real estate websites as being in foreclosure. By 2013, the same websites no longer listed the house as being in foreclosure, but no sales or changes in deeds were recorded.
Three months ago, someone moved in. They seem to exclusively use the awkward-to-access back door. They've left some weird stuff on the property that I imagine an average renter or new owner would remove (like the rotting folding table blocking a portion of the driveway, a pile of broken potting plants from the front lawn, etc.) They had some utilities turned on or repaired around the time they moved in (I saw some utility trucks parked at the house around that time.) I introduced myself to them, but they were extremely unfriendly, though they did say they were renting when I said something along the lines of "I'm so glad someone with kids bought the house!". I don't want to communicate with them further (there are other indicators of "shady-ness" that are probably not relevant to the question).
Now, here's the weird part: Another neighbor has been AGGRESSIVELY trying to purchase the house since it went into foreclosure. The former owners have been unresponsive, but he isn't 100% sure he has the correct email address for them. He has tried to chase down info on what bank owns the house, and keeps running into dead ends - but he did get confirmation on what bank owned the house when it first went into foreclosure. That bank says they no longer own the property.
Propertyshark.com still lists the former owners as current owners, and lists the last sale as being in 2003. I can't find any info online about a change in deed.
- Is there a way to definitively identify who owns the house? Some kind of county public records office that I can access?
- Would a bank ever rent a foreclosed house to individuals?
- Could the original owners have gotten the house out of foreclosure and begun renting long distance?
- If it seems like the house is really occupied by squatters, what then?
I would really love my other neighbor to be able to buy the house so his awesome daughter & her kids can move in and be my awesome new neighbors!