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Man Pays $16 For $330,000 House

11:17 PM, Jul 20, 2011   |    comments
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Flower Mound, TX -- Can you imagine paying $16 to live in a $330,000 house? That's the case for a man in Texas.

Television station WFAA reported Kenneth Robinson is living in the house after he filed paperwork at the courthouse for $16 that says he claims ownership of the abandoned house.

The house was in foreclosure, the owner abandoned it, and the mortgage company went under. That's when Robinson swooped in after looking into a law called adverse possession.

Now the owner would have to pay his mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a lawsuit to get Robinson out.

After three years of staying in the house, Texas law says he can petition the court for the deed.

"I want to be owner of record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner," said Robinson.

Neighbors like Leigh Lowrie aren't happy. She said, "If he wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to. Get the money, buy the house."

WFMY News 2 asked Greensboro real estate attorney Richard Shope if something like that could happen here. He pointed out under North Carolina's adverse possession law, it would take either seven or 20 years, depending on the situation, to own the property.

"If somebody has possessed property and used it as their own and nobody's come around to file a suit to get them off, eventually something's got to be done to settle who owns it and that's one of the ways that it's done," he said.

Here's Shope's advice: "I would say call your friendly lawyer and ask them what they think about it before you spend a lot of time and effort trying to claim something that's not yours."

WFAA/WFMY

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