Thomas Jefferson once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” But one Florida man says he’s the rightful owner of a $2.5 million mansion because he walked through the front door.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that 23-year-old Andre “Loki” Barbosa is a squatter trying to cash in on a Florida law that says an individual may claim ownership of a property if he can stay there for seven years. Sunrise real estate lawyer Gary Singer told the paper Barbosa is arguing that the obscure Florida law, known as “adverse possession,” applies to him.
The foreclosed, 7,522-square-foot property has reportedly been empty for about 18 months. Barbosa reportedly filed his "adverse possession" paperwork in July 2012.
That a random stranger has moved into the upscale Boca Raton neighborhood isn’t sitting well with its other residents.
"This is a very upsetting thing," Lyn Houston, a neighbor, told the Sentinel. "Last week, I went to the Bank of America and asked to see the person in charge of mortgages. I told them, 'I am prepared to buy this house.' They haven't even called me back."
According to reports, no one saw Barbosa enter the property, "making it a civil matter," the paper said, so police are unable to forcibly remove him from the five-bedroom home. For its part, Bank of America says it's following a legal process to reclaim the property, sending a request for an eviction notice to the local court.
"The bank is taking this situation seriously, and we will work diligently to resolve this matter," bank spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens told the paper.
A Facebook page listed under Barbosa’s name chronicling the situation refers to the disputed property as “Templo de Kamisamar.” A recent post claiming to be from Barbosa declares, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
The Sentinel also reports that Barbosa has placed a notice on the front window of the property declaring himself the "living beneficiary to the Divine Estate being superior of commerce and usury."