High Number of Distressed Homes for Sale Led to Squatting

by on cities

The increasing number of distressed homes for sale in Seattle, Washington has created a series of problems for real estate agents and for the banks that owned these properties. Several foreclosed mansions were reportedly being occupied by squatters who, on top of living in the houses illegally, are staking claims on the said properties.

Two months ago, one of the Seattle foreclosed homes being sold by real estate agent Mark von der Burg was illegally occupied by squatters. The Kirkland mansion, which was being sold for $3.3 million, was occupied by strangers who were also staking a legal claim over the foreclosed luxury house.

According to local real estate agents, this problem demonstrates how far-reaching the impact of foreclosures in Washington had been. The said Kirkland home was eventually taken back by the bank that owns it after the police stepped in, but not before the bank spent $35,000 to pay for the legal fees and locksmith bills and expenses for cleanup and security.

The problem did not end there as three more bank foreclosures for sale fell victim to the same squatters, with one of the houses under the listing of von der Burg. This time, the illegal occupants tried to stake claim on a $2.2 million Bellevue mansion being sold by von der Burg.

Two other luxury distressed homes for sale are reportedly being claimed by the same people who tried to take over von der Burg's mansions. According to the police, no one has occupied any of the three houses yet, but letters were tacked at the front doors signed by James McClung.

The letters reportedly ordered those who are claiming ownership of the properties to surrender possession for the three homes within three days. The letters also threatened judicial proceedings on those who will refuse to heed the warning. McClung is allegedly a former real estate broker in Bothell and owner of the company called NW Note Elimination.

McClung reportedly runs the company with Jill Lane, the same person arrested in June for illegally occupying the mansion at Kirkland being sold by von der Burg. Both McClung and Lane reportedly stated in June that they had other distressed homes for sale in the city which they intend to claim.