Newest Squatters in Empty Homes: Rats and Coyotes

Lynn McGee is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. That's why she posted a banner saying "House Full of RATS & Bank Don't Care" across the front of the townhouse that adjoins hers in Greenacres, Florida.

The derelict and abandoned unit next door has been in foreclosure since September 2009, according to a report in The Palm Beach Post. The property is in limbo though.

A final foreclosure judgment was issued in favor of the bank in May 2010, but the auction sale has been pushed off because of mishandled paperwork. (Remember robo-signing?)

In the meantime, the property has been unoccupied and fallen into disarray -- rats included.

Attempts to reach McGee were unsuccessful, but she might find some comfort in knowing that she is not alone. Some 3,000 miles away in Glendale, Calif., a pack of coyotes have moved into an abandoned burned-out house and neighbors there share her pain and sense of helplessness.

A demolition permit was issued for the burned out property last month, but the owners have six months to actually demolish the home. City officials hope to speed that process u,p and the home's owners gave the county permission to trap the animals.

Truth is, the powerlessness that both McGee and the Glendale neighborhood feels about derelict homes in their midst and affecting their property values is real. Short of contacting the authorities and waiting for them to take action, there is a little an impacted homeowner can do -- which is why so many neighborhoods with foreclosed and empty homes become run-down. Entering a property that you don't own -- even to cut the grass or set some rat traps or try and remove squatters who have moved in -- is trespassing and illegal.

Also see:
Realtors' Latest Challenge: A Surge of Squatters

Woman Faces Foreclosure on Home She Bought for $1
Protesters 'Liberate' Foreclosed Homes

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