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Owner walks away from his loft, then sees someone living inside


By Patrick   Follow   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 5:29am PST   1,510 views   29 comments
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http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-loft-squatter-20121202,0,2916945.story

I couldn’t believe it,” said Jeffrey Cote, recalling how John Glover appeared in the downtown L.A. apartment Cote still owns. “He had the loft way more decorated and lived-in than I had it when I lived there, window treatments and everything.

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mell   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 5:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 1

Haha - another epic story! The joys of house-owning. I'm sure the agent made out nicely with the rent for quite a while. Scammers, scoundrels and suckers ;)

mell   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:21am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 2

Btw. did I mention that NOW is the time to buy? Call your agent now!

Patrick   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:21am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 3

Why buy when you can just move in to a pre-foreclosure for nothing? :-)

EBGuy   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:32am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 4

I can't understand why the other owners would shun him; he only owes $35k to the HOA.

SkyPirate   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 5

Wow. This is definitely the ultimate squatter story. The owner realized that he could have been squatting in his own home for years since the banks were so far behind on processing foreclosures. But a real estate agent / con artist put a renter (legally a squatter) in the condo and likely made off with tens of thousands of dollars in rent money by the time the renter-squatter realized he could just stop paying and live there for free. To add insult to injury, the condo association and security guard prevented the bankrupt owner from entering the building.

SkyPirate   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:41am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 6

EBGuy says

I can't understand why the other owners would shun him; he only owes $35k to the HOA.

Yeah, but the squatter wasn't paying the HOA either. Your only chance of getting any money is to work with the bankrupt owner. I imagine he would at least start paying dues going forward.

FunTime   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 8:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 7

So was the squatter really squatting or was he paying real money to the invisible agent?
This is a classic patrick.net story. Be thoughtful about taking that plunge people. It can be a long drop and you might not survive the impact.

Dan8267   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 8:49am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 8

The "squatter" was an honest renter. Since the leaser was fraudulent and the lease invalid, the renter should get every penny of rent back. If the leaser resists, throw his ass in jail and he'll agree to pay restitution mighty quickly.

Dan8267   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 8:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 9

Since Cote acknowledges owning the loft, he's responsible for all the HOA fees. Make him pay up!

rufita11   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 12:01pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 10

Patrick says

Why buy when you can just move in to a pre-foreclosure for nothing? :-)

I almost moved into a great Alamo house in pre-foreclosure. The owner was renting it out and collecting rents while fighting the bank. I decided it would be too much hassle even though the rent was low for the area.

Call it Crazy   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 12:16pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 11

rufita11 says

I almost moved into a great Alamo house in pre-foreclosure. The owner was renting it out and collecting rents while fighting the bank. I decided it would be too much hassle even though the rent was low for the area.

The best part is when the owner isn't paying the bank even though you paid him rent... you get to live there right up to the point that the Sheriff comes and moves you out.

dodgerfanjohn   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 1:41pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 12

LOL

BUT THERES NO SHADOW INVENTORY NOW IS THERE!!!!!

Here's a clue.....these types of things do not show up on ANY reports....not as a preforclosure, not as a delinquency, not as behind on payments.

Yet they exist in MASS numbers in the southland.

Now what I can't figure out is why on earth some people on Patrick.net try to repeatedly deny that this phenomenon exists. That somehow, someway, these pieces of shadow inventory are measured and show up as stats in reports?

So it seems to me like quite a few people have some explaining to do.

dodgerfanjohn   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 1:43pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 13

And BTW, screw the moron who paid as much as he could possibly borrow for this place, QUIT HIS JOB TO GO INTO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY(LMFAO), and decided it would be a good idea to live 30 miles away from his job.

Thats right M-O-R-O-N. And I wish I could meet him in person to say it to his face.

Homeboy   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 4:47pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 14

FunTime says

So was the squatter really squatting or was he paying real money to the invisible agent?

The squatter said he was sending money orders because he didn't have a checking account. Sounds mighty fishy to me. That would be an awfully convenient excuse as to why you couldn't show any canceled checks from when you paid your rent.

And the owner doesn't sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer. He just assumed he had to move out? And he only wanted it back when he saw the other guy living there?

epitaph   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 10:01pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 15

Check Glover's savings account to see if he was pulling out $2,150 a month to write a money order. MO's also have a tracking number to see where they were deposited or cashed. If this Glover guy wasn't full of shit he would have been a little more cooperative and vigilant in finding the 'agent' who swindled him.

CaptainShuddup   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 10:05pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 16

"This was the industrial loft he had bought in downtown Los Angeles for $647,000 — with no money down — at the top of the market in 2007."

Everything else was just a coincident, when you're that stupid things are bound to happen.

SkyPirate   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 12:00am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 17

epitaph says

Check Glover's savings account to see if he was pulling out $2,150 a month to write a money order. MO's also have a tracking number to see where they were deposited or cashed. If this Glover guy wasn't full of shit he would have been a little more cooperative and vigilant in finding the 'agent' who swindled him.

Agreed. If he was an "honest renter" he would have flipped out when he found out he had been defrauded. He would have went after the agent for his money. He would have also either negotiated with the real owner for a new real lease or moved out. He didn't. He decided to squat... which was probably the plan the whole time.

The only difference is that the squatter and the agent were sharper than the owner, and from the sound of it, the squatter gave the appearance of being professional, educated, fashionably dressed, etc. This wasn't some bum off the street. This was a high-end squatter who conned his neighbors, the HOA, and the security guard of the building into keeping the owner out. It's quite impressive.

elliemae   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 12:28am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 18

SkyPirate says

Agreed. If he was an "honest renter" he would have flipped out when he found out he had been defrauded.

But he wasn't defrauded - Glover paid rent and lived there. The reason that Cote was pissed appears to be that he didn't receive the rent for the place, but he didn't even know about it. Why didn't he check on the place on a regular basis? Why didn't he ask the neighbors to keep an eye out for "squatters?"

Remember that this went on for two years - and Cote either didn't care or wasn't smart enough to figure out that the property was still in his name, was being rented, and someone was benefitting financially from his stupidity.

Seems like the HOA was correct in ignoring Cote's complaints - after all, he hadn't paid HOA fees for years. No one had - but he was asserting his ownership yet hadn't paid his fees. I'm not sure that he can have it both ways...

I'm not sure what the going rents are, but it sounds like the renter got a good deal for a few years and, although he was a dick about leaving, he came out ahead.

C Boy   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 12:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 19

I think Cote was irate when he realized HE could have been collecting rent for the past three years.

The methadone clinic downstairs is hilarious!!

FunTime   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:06am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 20

CaptainShuddup says

Everything else was just a coincident, when you're that stupid things are bound to happen.

The whole point, though, is that there were millions like him. Being "that stupid" is very common. So what do we do? I think some have decided, "We take full advantage of them and buy a jet!"

FunTime   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:08am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

SkyPirate says

the squatter gave the appearance of being professional, educated, fashionably dressed, etc. This wasn't some bum off the street. This was a high-end squatter who conned his neighbors, the HOA, and the security guard of the building into keeping the owner out.

Which is all much easier to do when you have no housing costs!

FunTime   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:11am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

Dan8267 says

The "squatter" was an honest renter.

The point made about the cashier's check is the one that suggests he was not in addition to all of the ways of contacting the agent suddenly being inoperative. The great thing about the story is they could be true in either the case where the guy just moves in and doesn't pay anyone or in the case where some guy who doesn't own the place cons a guy into paying him rent at a nice rate in cash.

PockyClipsNow   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:12am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

And STILL no foreclosure!! No payments in 5 years. Try that renting patrick!

SkyPirate   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:36am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

elliemae says

But he wasn't defrauded - Glover paid rent and lived there.

Well it depends on which story you believe. If Glover was never paying rent to the agent (money orders instead of checks?!) then he was likely scheming with the agent.

If Glover was in fact paying rent to the agent, then he was defrauded by the agent because the agent had no right to lease the property to him. The lease contract was fraudulent, null, and void. Would you want to rent a property and then find out that you were cheated and you actually had no right to be there?

SkyPirate   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:38am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

The fact that Glover stopped paying rent to the agent and decided to stick around and fight the claim of the real owner really takes away from his moral argument of being an "honest renter."

Erikintx   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 2:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

Is the HOA allowed to foreclose themselves for unpaid dues? Seems like they sat on the sidelines for a long, long time too to have amassed $35K in dues owed! If I was sitting on a HOA board anything without owner contact would go to foreclosure after 12 months. At least then the mortgage company might pay up to keep it from being foreclosed upon.

Or am I missing something about CA HOA foreclosure law?

C Boy   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 3:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

SkyPirate says

The fact that Glover stopped paying rent to the agent and decided to stick around and fight the claim of the real owner really takes away from his moral argument of being an "honest renter."

If you don't pay your mortgage for 5 years are you still the real owner?

Very very strange that the HOA let the dues slide for 3 years. Makes me think the condo board was splitting the money or somehow involved.

FunTime   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 3:18am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 28

SkyPirate says

If Glover was never paying rent to the agent (money orders instead of checks?!) then he was likely scheming with the agent.

Or, even more brilliant, making the agent up!

fedwatcher   Wed, 5 Dec 2012, 10:37am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 29

"Is the HOA allowed to foreclose themselves for unpaid dues?"

Yes the HOA is at fault here. The way to get the bank to foreclose and start paying dues is for the HOA to foreclose. Now the bank in California can start the foreclosure process in as little as 90 days, the HOA needs to wait later for two things, one the number of months and/or a minimum account. Both limits were passed years ago, so the HOA lost at least a few years of HOA dues.

The HOA dues that the HOA lost cannot be recovered from the bank, that is why the HOA must act if the bank does not.

The banks can play the game of "you are still the owner" only because the HOA is not doing its job.

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