Man told to leave Fla. mansion he claims

Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:46 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A young Brazilian man who has attempted to use a 19th-century Florida law to gain possession of a waterfront mansion has been told to get out.

The Bank of America, which owns the five-bedroom house in Boca Raton valued at $2.5 million, served Andre "Loki Boy" Barbosa with eviction papers Wednesday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Barbosa is believed to have been squatting in the house for at least a month, claiming he has a right under the doctrine of "adverse possession."

Barbosa's action inspired copycats. Broward County Appraiser Lori Parish says she has received at least 22 claims.

The law dates from an era when much of Florida was farmland, and officials were concerned that property owners would simply walk away, leaving their land fallow and houses empty. Under "adverse possession," someone who lives in abandoned property for seven years, maintains it and pays taxes and liens can become the owner.

Some housing advocates say the practice could be used to match people who need homes with Florida's current huge stock of properties in limbo because of foreclosure. But Parrish is urging the Legislature to repeal the law.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops bid for speaker
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing
Murdoch sorry for implying Obama's not a 'real black president'
Reid sues exercise companies over eye injury
Lumber Liquidators to pay $10M in DOJ settlement