Q: What are my rights if any as an accidental squatter of 7 years in Oregon?
My family and I have lived in the same residence for 7 years with a friend. Our friend died 3 months ago. He had a will but it was stolen by his son. He is not initiating probate. Our friend had a mortgage on the house with OCWEN. A title company said the house was foreclosed on in 2015 in a trustees sale. The new owner on the deed is a mortgage company with a Cease and Desist from another state for being unlicensed. They don't have a license in Oregon either. Any attempts to reach them have failed. I don't like being a squatter. Do I have any rights to continue living in my home with my family and is there a way for us to live here legally?
A: The first thing to find out is whether the house really was foreclosed and to confirm the current owner. You may want to approach the current owner and inquire about renting/renting to own/buying the home if you are interested. The danger, of course, is you will be calling their attention to the fact that they have squatters living in their house and you may stimulate them to do something about it sooner than they might otherwise. Regardless, you have been there long enough (way more than long enough) to establish a residency there. Thus the new owner should have to go through an ejectment process in court to get rid of you (or possibly an eviction depending upon the exact details). That means you should have at least a few weeks notice, if not a few months, to move out before a Sheriff would actually show up to throw you out. Questions? Review it all with a local real estate or landlord-tenant attorney to learn your exact rights and to create a game plan for how to best proceed, taking into account your specific but realistic desires. Good luck.
Joanne Reisman agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
You were given permission by the former owner to live there so you aren't trespassing. The brother or some family member inherited the house. Usually a foreclosure concludes when the property is actually sold. Sometimes the lender bids at the foreclosure sale and the Lender buys the property. But any tenant living in the property is not obligated to leave until they get an eviction notice. Back in 2007 when there was a flood of foreclosures, many foreclosed homeowners lived in their foreclosed properties for years until there was finally a buyer who started the eviction proceeding. So enjoy the free rent but keep your possessions such that you can move when you have to. Sometimes the lender would sell the property to a new owner who was really only looking for an investment and they would turn around and rent the house to the tenant who was still living there.
If you want to know who owns the house, just go down the the recorder's office for the county where the property is located. If the house was "bought" by the lender at the foreclosure sale, there should be something recorded in the property records to that effect. That way you don't have to contact the lender and tip them off that you are living their rent free.
I would caution you to buy renter's insurance so you have some way to recuperate if there is a problem like a fire or flood (if it covers floods - ask) because it doesn't sound like anyone is going to come running to fix the property or help you out.
An eviction notice will usually give you some time to move, and then if you don't leave, you still have the time it will take for them to followup with an FED proceeding in the court. But I might start evaluating your options for moving now just in case, especially if you need money for first and last rent and you need to pass a background check.
2 users found this answer helpful
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