What to do about someone living on your property after you have abandoned it?

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What to do about someone living on your property after you have abandoned it?

My wife and I filed Chapter 13 about 3 1/2 years ago. We told our attorney we were going to vacate our house as we could no longer afford it. Today, we went to see the house and founf that someone has been living there. The house has been painted and a water softener system had been put in. The locks have been changed and a lock box is on the front door. A car sits in the driveway. Someone has been paying the property taxes under our names. The tax collector’s office and county appraiser’s office still show us as the owners. There is no record showing any change of ownership. We keep getting homeowner’s association bills and fine letters as if we had never left. We sense some type of fraud is going on here. Do we have some course of action here?

Asked on December 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to immediately file a police report and talk to your bankruptcy attorney. If you filed bankruptcy and the bankruptcy was done and you lost your home (i.e., you did not reaffirm the debt) and the debt was discharged and not reorganized, something happened with the chain of title. You need to immediately contact the lender and servicer, as well.


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