Squatters Refuse to Leave Couple’s Home

August 8, 2012

A pair of squatters are refusing to leave a Littleton, Colo., home in which they’ve taken up residence, despite a judge’s order to leave. Following an eight-month legal battle, a judge has ordered the squatting couple to vacate the home within two days, but now two weeks later, the couple is still there.

The rightful home owners -- Troy and Dayna Donovan -- say they were away from their home for six months and returned last year to find another couple living there. The couple had claimed they had purchased the home from a man who offered them a deed of adverse possession, allowing them to take over the abandoned home for $5,000. (In Colorado, a property has to be vacant for 18 years to make an adverse possession claim.)

The squatting couple -- Veronica Fernandez-Beleta and husband Jose Rafael Levya-Caraveo -- continue to file legal paperwork, claiming they have a right to remain in the home.

The squatters were recently granted a restraining order against the Donovans, after the Donovans came through an unlocked door into the home. The Donovans are now no longer to get near their home and are living in a relative’s basement as they fight for rights back to their home.

Also delaying the Donovans from taking ownership once again, the squatting couple recently filed for bankruptcy, which can delay an eviction. An eviction cannot proceed when a bankruptcy is in question since the Federal Bankruptcy Court will now have to decide the ownership of the home, the local sheriff’s office told reporters.

Source: “Squatters in Littleton, Colo., Couple’s Home Refuse to Vacate Despite Judge’s Ruling,” AOL Real Estate (July 31, 2012)

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