Author Topic: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law  (Read 8294 times)

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Offline n01_important

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Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« on: May 01, 2009, 08:04:59 AM »
This was bound to happen given all the abandoned homes.  I'm curious if those with expertise in law can comment on what rights do squatters have in Illinois?  How long must a squatter live in a place before he/she can legally own it AND what steps must they follow (i.e. pay back taxes, upkeep, etc.)

Also, as neighbors, what can we do to prevent squatters from taking root?  What signs do we look for?

Here is one story of a squatter in Sugar Grove.  This is interesting because the township was able to make this (or better said, keep this) a police/criminal matter.  Sometimes squatters circumvent that make it strictly a owner-tenant matter (squatter becomes a tenant that does not pay rent).

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6765836

Police arrest alleged mansion squatter
April 16, 2009 (SUGAR GROVE, Ill.) (WLS) -- Suburban police arrested a man accused of illegally moving into a mansion after its owners were evicted.

The alleged squatter is charged with two felonies.

And police are worried that as more homes are left vacant due to foreclosure, these kinds of problems will escalate.

Illinois has one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the country.
 The mansion taken over by the squatter is near west suburban Sugar Grove.

Sugar Grove police suspect this is happening more than anyone is aware but they say the suspect in this case was brazen.

The suspect took over a $700,000 home and moved furniture in, including a couple of big screen television. And he acted like he owned it.

It is a stately home in a beautiful subdivision in unincorporated Sugar Grove. The view from the back pomp is idyllic, overlooking a small lake. It stood vacant, however, according to neighbors, for nearly a year after a previous owner died and it went into foreclosure. About eight months ago, however, neighbors met 42-year-old Steven Hawthorne as he moved in.

"He introduced himself as my new neighbor and we talked a little bit and I proceeded to ask him when he had closed on the home. He said he hadn't closed yet," said Duane Suits, neighbor.

Hawthorne had no apparent plans to ever close and no legal right to move in. But with no mortgage company clamoring to evict him, authorities had no reason to get involved. Until they discovered he was allegedly using city utility, specifically water.

Police works department shut the water off and put a lock on the valve.

"He cut the lock off. We put another lock on, he cut that one off. We put a boot on for the lock, cut that one off and put his own on," said Detective John Sizer, Sugar Grove Police.

Hawthorne had also apparently illegally arranged to get free gas and electricity.

Finally, the county sheriff's department got the authority to evict him. Police charged him with theft of government property and criminal damage to state-supported property, both felonies. Neighbors say they grew suspicious as time went on and we saw the property not being maintained. There was concern that things might not be proper.

Police say Hawthorne's driver's license listed an address in Aurora. He is being held on Thursday night on $250,000 bond in the county jail.

You can read more about this story in Friday's Daily Herald.
(Copyright ©2009 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
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Offline tony la

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 10:17:33 AM »
Adverse Possession
Adverse possession is the taking of title to real estate by possessing it for a certain period of time.  Title means ownership of real estate.  The person claiming title to real estate by adverse possession must have actual possession of it that is open, notorious, exclusive and adverse to the claims of other persons to the title.  By its very nature, a claim of adverse possession is hostile to the claims of other persons.  It cannot be hidden but must be open and notorious in order to put other persons on notice as to one’s claim for possession of the real estate.

A claim to title by adverse possession often must be made under color of title.  Color of title means a claim to title by way of a fact which, although on its face appears to support a person’s claim to title, is in some way defective and falls short of actually establishing title to the real estate.  An example of a claim made under color of title would be a deed whose execution was defective or is in question.  Another example is a claim arising from another person’s Last Will and Testament.  Yet another common example is where two or more persons have received separate deeds to the same parcel of real estate.

This is off the internet.  Every state is different.  In Illinois if you could somehow get title it would be 7 years.  Otherwise it is 20.

I'm not a lawyer, and I am not giving legal advice.  Just helping out.

A great story though.  I believe a no trespassing sign is enough to cover the owner from this happening.
 
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Offline Bear

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 10:25:51 AM »
If the banks put no trespassing signs on foreclosed homes in Berwyn,
it would be like placing a billboard that said come steal all the pipes here lol.
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Offline n01_important

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 10:30:58 AM »
Thanks, I've been eying an empty house to squat.    ;)

Electricity & gas isn't a big deal.  You just put a down payment and the utilities turn it on.  You use the bill as proof you live in the location.

The issue would be the water since it is a municipal thang.

On the serious side, I never knew that a squatter could take possession.  I did know that happens in other countries and always thought it was a bit socialist.  But then again, look where I'm living.
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Offline rbain

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 10:41:38 AM »
Yeah, there's NO history in America of just showing up somewhere and claiming it's your property! Of course squatting in an empty house is a lot easier than forcibly evicting millions of people and sending them off to live in Oklahoma, but it sure feels unAmerican...
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Offline tony la

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 11:33:35 AM »
Yeah, there's NO history in America of just showing up somewhere and claiming it's your property! Of course squatting in an empty house is a lot easier than forcibly evicting millions of people and sending them off to live in Oklahoma, but it sure feels unAmerican...

How bout it.  good point.
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Offline n01_important

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 02:50:53 PM »
Yeah, there's NO history in America of just showing up somewhere and claiming it's your property! Of course squatting in an empty house is a lot easier than forcibly evicting millions of people and sending them off to live in Oklahoma, but it sure feels unAmerican...

Our country was built on squatters.  Let us not deny our roots.  White man came squatted and killed Indians... those they couldn't kill, they made 'em alcoholics and moved them around.

LET THE SQUATTERS TAKE THE HOMES... just not in my neighborhood.  ;D
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Offline OakParkSpartan

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 03:36:20 PM »
I'm really not feeling all that guilty for what happened 150+ years ago.  Nothing I can do to change what happened to those long dead people.  It sucks, but it was a much more darwinistic world.
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Offline n01_important

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2009, 03:38:47 PM »
We can give the empty foreclosed homes to the Indians and few to the homeless provided that they upkeep the homes, get jobs and pay taxes.

We could use a few rain dances to get some sunshine in Berwyn.   ;)
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Offline B o n s t e r

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 04:10:46 PM »
It sounds from the story like this guy has been much more effective in securing the residence than the previous owner.  The felonies are unrelated to his possession of the home.


Squatters have indirectly resolved the issue of foreclosure: just don't leave-  become a squatter!
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Offline MRS. NORTHSIDER

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2009, 05:40:48 PM »
It sounds from the story like this guy has been much more effective in securing the residence than the previous owner.  The felonies are unrelated to his possession of the home.


Squatters have indirectly resolved the issue of foreclosure: just don't leave-  become a squatter!
Somehow I get the feeling that the majority of squatters are not going to mow the loan, make repairs or do anything to maintain the property.  After all, the only investment they have in it is breaking in and living for free on the property.  Not exactly whom I would care to have for neighbors.

Offline watcher

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 10:44:01 PM »
Somehow I get the feeling that the majority of squatters are not going to mow the loan, make repairs or do anything to maintain the property.  After all, the only investment they have in it is breaking in and living for free on the property.  Not exactly whom I would care to have for neighbors.

You might be surprised. Keeping up appearances, at least looking like you have pride of ownership, blending in, is required to sustain the ruse.

To maintain that illusion for seven years, under normal circumstances, is next to impossible, but with the utter chaos in some markets, the paper backlog, and distant lenders holding the paper, seven years is conceivable.
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Offline MRS. NORTHSIDER

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 11:20:17 PM »
Somehow I get the feeling that the majority of squatters are not going to mow the loan, make repairs or do anything to maintain the property.  After all, the only investment they have in it is breaking in and living for free on the property.  Not exactly whom I would care to have for neighbors.

You might be surprised. Keeping up appearances, at least looking like you have pride of ownership, blending in, is required to sustain the ruse.

To maintain that illusion for seven years, under normal circumstances, is next to impossible, but with the utter chaos in some markets, the paper backlog, and distant lenders holding the paper, seven years is conceivable.
Not with me as their neighbor - if that ever happens.

Offline rbain

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2009, 08:29:07 AM »
So you're going to ask all your neighbors to show you their mortgage papers? Or do you think you can "just tell" if someone's a squatter? They may not all look like punk-rock street urchins...
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Offline n01_important

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Re: Squatters, their rights & Illinios Law
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2009, 11:21:05 AM »
We should help homeless find abandoned homes.  To have an empty home and a homeless person and not be able to join the two is a sin.

Just not in my block.   ;D
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