Adverse Possession: Florida Man Squats In Style, Takes Over $2.5 Million Boca Raton Mansion

Go big or go home.

Or, in the case of Andre Barbosa, go big and go into a $2.5 million bank-owned home in Boca Raton, Fla., that isn’t his, but claim that it is. Then, complete “adverse possession” paperwork (we define the term here) and file it with the county clerk.


Technically, Barbosa is now allowed to live in the home, rent-free, and the local authorities are for all intents and purposes are handcuffed until Bank of America, which reclaimed the property through foreclosure last year, takes notice/action.

And if he pays the bills and property taxes the luxury property would eventually become his by default in seven years.

However, Bank of America doesn’t seem like it is about to let that happen, releasing the following statement on the “serious” matter (via

“We have been in communication with the Boca Raton Police Department regarding the concerns with the occupants of 580 Golden Harbour Drive. There is a certain legal process we are required by law to follow and we have filed the appropriate action. The bank is taking this situation seriously and we will work diligently to resolve this matter.”

Adverse possession is not new; on the contrary, its roots trace back to 16th-century England (we first talked about it two years ago here). It was introduced in Florida decades ago so that farmers could make the most out of abandoned land.

However, with the foreclosure flood in the “Sunshine State” and banks overwhelmed with paperwork, more and more cunning opportunists are playing the adverse possession card while it’s still possible. In fact, 13 such claims were made in Palm Beach County in 2011, 19 in 2012 and six already in 2013.

None clearly as big (or bold), though, as Andre Barbosa.

‘Occupy’ foreclosed homes movement takes a strange twist in Brooklyn

Welcome to the foreclosure Twilight Zone, where a distressed homeowner struggles to save his property from bank repossession, while at the same time, attempts to evict the illegal Occupy Wall Street protesters who set up shop in his living room when he (unwisely) decided to leave.

Such is the curious case of Wise Ahadzi, a single father with two young girls, who vacated his house in Brooklyn, N.Y., when he could no longer afford to pay the mortgage. He apparently didn’t realize that he could remain in the home until the foreclosure was complete. In fact, the lender has recently confirmed that he is still the rightful owner of the property until the foreclosure process has run its full course.

Meanwhile, “Occupy” members targeted his house and vowed to fix it up and move in a new family, looking make a bold statement against the major financial institutions that the movement blames for the current economic crisis in the United States.

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How to delay foreclosure for years

Slow ride, take it easy …

Many Americans are taking the Foghat approach to living these days, unable (or unwilling) to meet their monthly mortgage obligations and, in the process, living rent-free until theirs lenders evict them from their homes.

And with the average distressed homeowner able to live like this for nearly two years (674 days) it’s actually emerged as a popular “strategic” move because of the economic hardship plaguing millions throughout the nation. Indeed, according to a recent CNN Money report, nearly 40 percent of homeowners in default have not paid their lenders a single penny throughout the entire foreclosure process.

The other 60 percent in distress have made some sort of payment(s), “looking for ways to make good with lenders and get their homes back.”

So how is it possible to live in a home for so long without paying a mortgage?

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Foreclosed homes in Las Vegas being used to grow marijuana

Abandoned, empty homes apparently do more than attract illegal squatters and vandals.

Foreclosed homes in Las Vegas, Nevada, and elsewhere are “going to pot,” literally, according to the Los Angeles Times. Marijuana “grow houses” are no longer set up in the seedy outskirts of society, but rather nestled among well-to-do, albeit distressed, neighborhoods.

And the nationwide housing crisis is apparently one of the many factors fueling the “pot home problem.”

William Sousa, a criminologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, explains:

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Adverse possession: Man claims ownership of $300,000 foreclosed home in Texas, pays just $16 (Video)

What is adverse possession? We touched on it more than a year ago when it happened on Washington. To read the article click here.