Whistleblower: House buyer discovers he's a squatter

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  • Updated: August 12, 2012 - 6:07 PM

In 2005, Marc Barone got a deal on a foreclosed home. But it's on his neighbor's land.

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melloncollieAug. 11, 12 7:05 PM

What a nightmare. The only ones coming out ahead in this will be attorneys.

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schiploverAug. 11, 12 7:25 PM

The Jurek's are blameless. Their land was bought & sold without their knowledge. Who contracted for the water, septic & electrical to be put in originally? Behrman? I'm surprised the City and/or contractors didn't scratch their heads when they pulled permits. Jurek owned the property - why is Behrman contracting for services? If that's where it started - that's where you need to go back to. Was the land surveyed at the time she bought it? If 'yes', Did Behrman then realize after the survey, "I bought swampland" and then gaze next door at better property? Order a double-wide, contract for all of the services and set up house on Jurek's property on purpose? I think several people need to share the blame on all of this: Ms. Behrman, HER Title Insurance Company at the time, Freddie Mac, Edina Realty, Mr. Barone & his Title Insurance Company. Trying to save a few hundred bucks along the line to NOT survey the property has come back to bite everybody. So that's why I feel Mr. Barone needs to share in the blame. By having SIX parties contribute to the purchase the Jurek land that Mr. Barone's house & improvements sit on (not the swampland he was actually sold), should ease the pain of just one party having to pay up the whole amount. It would be nice if all parties could agree to pay a percent - the higher percentages should start with Ms. Behrman and her Title Insurance Company - up to 50% if it is discovered she knew she was setting up her house on adjacent property that wasn't hers since her property was unbuildable. Attorneys will likely need to be retained. However, it would be better for all parties if this could be mediated thru a neutral party after the discovery process has been completed of who knew what & when.

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sokerlundAug. 11, 1210:49 PM

We had kinda the same deal happen in Feb 2012. On our original loan from 2003 they listed the proper mailing address on the paperwork but then the legal description was land i owned 7 miles away....what a mess. Then they send you threating letters saying your unwilling to cooperate and fix the problem when they never even contacted me to discuss it...title insurance is a scam. Finally it is straight. I hope these 2 neighbors don't hate each other after this...it was neither one of their faults at all.......

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antisuburbsAug. 12, 12 1:19 PM

Freddie Mac should have to pay to move the house or buy the land. They sold land that they did not own, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

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marynybergAug. 12, 12 1:43 PM

Mr. Barone is in no way responsible for this mess. Mr Jurek Sr.s partly resposible for allowing the non-conforming use of the property. If the records are correct about the time frame of the use of the property ,2002, Mr. Barone may have much less time than eight years on this matter. What bank financed the building of the home in the first place. Who are the Builders? Freddie Mac is definately responsible. Mr. Barone is not a squatter and the defamatory statement in the heading is disturbing to me. He is an ethical man sticking up for his purchase. It should have been a textbook sale. He had a title opinion, purchased title insurance and Freddie Mac guaranteed free and clear title. There was a fire # and postal address attributed to the legal description presented to Mr. Barone as part of the purchase agreement contract presented by Freddie Mac and represented by Edina Realty. Freddie Mac took this as theirs and sold it. Being a govt. agency, they should be held to a higher standard and compensate both parties. The former owner, the bank Behrman used is the former owner and had no business building on this land without so much as a plat map. Greed by cutting corners. Who put the well and septic there without the same information?Everyone except Mr. Barone is culpable. Mr. Jurek's jr's only error was not to protect the family property from the wolves previously mentioned. He should have compensation also. Both men! I am Mary Nyberg and represented Mr. Barone as the buyers agent. If I had money, I would pay for Mr. Barone to Mr. Jurek. We as Americans need to hold Fannie and Freddie accountable. That govt. agency has screwed up many many lives over the last decade. Behrman's bank also.

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marynybergAug. 12, 12 1:56 PM

schiplover, according to real estate law. Mr Barone is not at any fault. If it were to go to court, I'm fairly confident Mr. Barone would prevail because of the real estate law of use over a time without any gripes from the actual landowner. I've seen this before with land easements. The time of use doesn't start with the new purchaser, but the previous time with previous purchasers.

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imichelleAug. 12, 12 7:53 PM

I thought this was exactly the type of thing title insurance was purchased for.

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FrankLAug. 12, 12 9:56 PM

The issue everyone is missing is that mobile homes are considered personal property, not real estate. In most states, they come under the purview of the DMV and insurance, loans, etc are handled as though it is a motor vehicle. The title insurance co. is actually not responsible, since they conveyed the real estate (land) accurately. The mobile home even when on a foundation is still considered a vehicle, no different than a camper or a boat. Sad to say Mr Barone is in a pickle.

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janefAug. 13, 1210:30 AM

Hi Mary, Thanks for weighing in. I believe Mr. Barone is an ethical man caught up in a sticky situation. As far as adverse possession is concerned, Larry Wertheim, the lawyer quoted in the article explained: "Under the doctrine of "tacking", one can add the possession of consecutive occupiers. The only issue might be whether there was a gap in the occupancy as the doctrine of adverse possession requires that the occupation be continuous." Apparently there was a gap of about nine months. I don't know if that is long enough to legally make occupation non-continuous.

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dflpartyAug. 13, 1212:32 PM

Freddie Mac certainly has no liability because they are a government agency as such, do not have to adhere to the same rules as average citizens. Their bailout by the Administration absolves them of any wrong doing at any time.

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