Published January 25, 2013
BOCA RATON – Residents from a South Florida neighborhood are furious after discovering a squatter living in a million-dollar mansion, and officials say they can't do anything about it because he is not committing a crime.
A $2.4 million Boca Raton mansion is in foreclosure and is up for sale. According to police, a man is living inside the home free of charge.
"I don't think anyone has really seen him," said neighbor Gary Pollack. "I know we've had the police here a number of occasions."
Andre Barbosa has been squatting in the home and has been posting pictures on Facebook.
Bank of America foreclosed the home last July. Soon after, the 23-year-old moved into the home using a loophole called adverse possession, which allows someone to move in. As long as you maintain the home and pay the taxes for seven years, the home is yours to keep.
"I think the guy has [expletive] and quite honestly, if he can manage to stay here for seven years, he deserves to have the house," said Pollack. "If Bank of America is that stupid to let him stay here, he deserves the house."
Bank of America is taking the matter seriously.
They said, "There is a certain legal process we are required by law to follow and we have filed the appropriate action."
According to neighbors, the lights of the home turned on after Christmas and they called police. According to police, there was nothing that could be done because Barbosa was doing nothing wrong.
Neighbors said they want to take matters into their own hands.
Barbosa put up a notice on the window claiming to be a sovereign citizen, a movement the FBI calls a domestic threat.
"This is one of the best streets in Boca," said Pollack.
Sovereign citizens believe they are free from government control, and do not recognize federal, state and/or local laws.
For more, go to wsvn.com.