A foreclosed family has taken the law into their own hands and broken into their former home. I thought this story was interesting, and the people in it were ballsy, and I felt a lot of sympathy for the family until I got to this part of the article:
The Earls paid $500,000 for the house in 2001 and then refinanced to pull out cash. They fell behind on their mortgage and at the time of their eviction they owed about $880,000 on a no-interest mortgage.
Wow. So they pulled $380,000 in cash out of their house, plus whatever they had put down to begin with. Then, when they got foreclosed and left, they waited until the new buyers dropped $40,000 on improvements before breaking the locks and seizing possession of the house. That's not ballsy. That's crooked. I understand fighting. I understandappealing. I understandprotesting. I do not understand letting someone else drop forty grand into your old place and then taking it back by force.
Their attorney appears to be somewhat of a loon. Michael T. Pines has led more than one client on such a mission. He recently got arrested for trespassing after telling the Newport Beach police that they were not welcome and his clients' former home that he had helped them break back into:
“I’m trying to teach homeowners what their rights are. In my opinion, they are the legal owners of the property. All of these foreclosures, all of these evictions are grossly unlawful,” he says. “All of the loans that are currently outstanding are grossly unlawful. Homeowners have a right to get their houses back because they were illegally stolen from them. I feel very confident in saying they have the legal right to do it.”
Again, wow. I wonder how long before the California State Bar relieves this fellow of his license. Good lawyers do not advise their clients to break the law and cause them to get arrested. If your strategy is to break in and squat, you don't need a lawyer (well, you might eventually need a criminal defense lawyer), you need a gangster.