Get Rich Quick Schemes For The Rest Of Us: Rent Out Your Neighbor's Foreclosed House

Tyler Durden's picture

When it comes to "get rich quick" housing schemes, one can be a bank prop trading desk or a hedge fund, with access to the Federal "REO-To-Rent" program which grants a costless purchase of distressed real estate with zero cash down, in order to facilitate the subsidized removal of housing inventory from the market, or, if one is not too big to fail, one can simply pull off an Andre Barbosa, the infamous Boca Raton squatter who used the "adverse possession" loophole to claim title to a multi-million mansion. Or, as it turns out now, one can take advantage of the latter and lever it up even more, by renting out other people's foreclosed property without ever being present, while claiming ownership rights through "adverse possession", keeping the inbound cash flow while having someone else on the hook should the cops come knocking.

From Palm Beach Post:

A West Palm Beach woman is accused of commandeering her neighbor’s empty and foreclosed-upon home, renting it through Craigslist and collecting more than $13,000 in rent before the owner discovered the ruse and called the cops.


Nathalie Heil, 30, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday. Facing charges of grand theft and fraud, she was released Saturday after posting $6,000 bond.


But Heil said she believes she has ownership of the house, stating that she filed what’s called “adverse possession” papers. The arcane Florida law, created hundreds of years ago, states that if a person claiming adverse possession stays in a home for seven years, paying taxes and caring for the property, they can take permanent ownership.

In other words, Nathalie took Andre's idea and levered it up.

Andre De Palma Barbosa, the 23-year-old Brazilian now known as the “Boca Raton squatter,” used adverse possession to move into an empty foreclosed 7,000-square-foot mansion in Boca Raton in December.


As for Heil, she said the owner of the property at 314 Vallette Way abandoned the home more than six years ago.


She assumed that as soon as she filed her papers with the courts, the property was hers.


“Legally, I thought it was right,” she told the Palm Beach Post.


Heil said she’s received death threats since the story first ran on the Post’s website Tuesday afternoon.


“I’m freaking out,” she said. “I have a full-time job and I’m a single mom.”


West Palm Beach police were tipped off to the situation Friday morning, when they got a call from Kelly Keefner, who manages the 314 Vallette Way property for her father-in-law, Juan Cedeno. Keefner told police the home is in foreclosure, and for that reason she had not checked on the property in the last eight months. She said when she stopped by in late January, the place looked lived-in.


Keefner returned to the home with her husband and met April Wehle, 24, and Talia Williams, 25, who said they had been renting the home for $1,500 a month since mid-June. The women said they found the place through a Craigslist ad placed by Heil, who lives next door at 312 Vallette Way.


The women told police they’d paid a total $13,500 in rent by check to Heil and spent another $500 to make various repairs, according to Heil’s arrest report. The home sits south of downtown and just blocks south of the Mango Promenade historic district, tucked between S. Dixie Highway and S. Olive Ave. south of Okeechobee Boulevard.


After confirming Cedeno’s ownership — the county property appraiser lists him as the owner of record since 2007 — police said they confronted Heil when she went to the home to collect rent. Heil told police she had gone to the county courthouse and “completed paperwork giving her possession of the residence.”


Police said they found no such paperwork, and property records name Cedeno as the owner.

That said, please don't let stories like this get in the way of a housing 'recovery' myth, which just happens to be a function of Chinese and Russian robber barons taking advantage of the NAR's anti-money laundering exemption, giving them full right to invest suitcases of stolen cash in US real estate, while the same NAR reports, month after month, that US housing is as sturdy as it was during the peak of the last housing bubble.

After all, with Bernanke watching out for everyone, what can possibly go wrong.

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willwork4food's picture

Recovery and fraud! It's whats for dinner.

knukles's picture

Even better, how's about buddy buddy sub standard government contracts for bundlers...

Bundlers, it's what's for money

But then again, bundling's for the big guys... renting out something you don't own is for the small fries.... sorta like selling paper gold



willwork4food's picture

Which reminds me, can I borrow your ATV for a weekend?

SafelyGraze's picture

am trying to understand why any this would be considered illegal


Yamaha's picture

It can always become illegal when you compete with the government in fraud.

francis_sawyer's picture

If she were a banker it's be perfectly legal... Just ask Lanny Breuer...


Hell ~ for that matter, if the house belonged to a Palestinian & she was Israeli, she could pretty much take it anytime she wanted even if loan was paid up...

It's all relative ~ you see?

Darth Sidious's picture

come on francis, don't make me call the local mossad commander on you.  we can make you dissappear you know.

trav777's picture

I'm going to take insurance out on my neighbor's house and then it gets hit by Jewish Lightning.  I mean why the hell not, right?  Nobody the fuck else is honest anymore

CH1's picture

They are rank, Jew-baiting trolls, doing their very best to side-track useful conversations.

Probably on Sunstein's payroll.

Thisson's picture

Payroll or not, they make ZH less credible because detractors can point to their posts as proof that this is a fringe blog for conspiracy nuts and neo-nazis.

SafelyGraze's picture


if you want credible,  bls and cbo websites have that covered

not to neglect abcnbccbsnprcnnfox

francis_sawyer's picture

@CH1 @ Thisson


So I take it you come down "in favor of 'Lenny & the Jets', as well as, of course, are in full support of the practice of occupying Palestinian territory... 

Nice to know where both of you stand...

Folks... & casual passers by of ZH... Head straight to your local trustworthy news source so you can get the OFFICIAL stories on what's going on around you [lest you be considered 'fringe' & not be invited to any soccer mom's kids birthday parties]...

mkhs's picture

Well, you are either for the Gov, or (by definition) a fringe, conspiracy nut.

Chuck Walla's picture

You cannot make this shit up!  Recall Obama is a COOK COUNTY POLITICIAN-



Pollak and his wife, Abigail, are major Obama bundlers and Democratic donors. The couple hosted a $40,000-a-plate fundraising dinner in June at their Miami Beach home. And Abigail Pollak alone raised at least $632,000 for the Obama re-election effort, a total $1.56 million for him since 2007, according to a financial documents obtained by The New York Times.  

 F.J. Pollak has been to the White House at least twice. And he and his wife gave an estimated $270,000 to Democratic candidates in the last election cycle.

"That has absolutely nothing to do with business,” Jose Fuentes, a spokesman for TracFone's parent company, America Movil, told The Washington Times. “There's been no pay-for-play — or even favors. What he does in his private time is his."



game theory's picture

people will soon understand that the trillion dollar deficit is a fiction.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

Further, they'll learn that the entire paper Ponzi is a fiction. Trace it back to the original deposits, prior to the legal tender law legislation of 1913 and you'll find that the credit swilling around in the system today is all capitalized by the gold deposits made yesteryear. Do the math.

ptoemmes's picture

Come on....Southeast Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade counties)...we want all the credit.


On, there's more:

zhandax's picture

God's waiting room.  Think there isn't a lot of prayer going on down there?

bobthehorse's picture

Crime doesn't pay...unless you know the right people.

Don't screw around without connections.

You'll be in jail real quick.

The Navigator's picture

Forget the recovery, FRAUD, it's what's for dinner.

Sudden Debt's picture

What's the big deal?!


So, let's recapitulate here....

A AMERCIAN, took something that wasn't his...

Rented it out for money...

and didn't tell anybody....

That's the story of the gold at the FED okay?


A AMERICAN, took something that wasn't his....

Rented it out for money...

and didn't tell anybody...

That's the story about the rented houses okay?



Ghordius's picture

the "deal" is that this lady got arrested and had to pay for a bailout

mkhs's picture

You can't catch whales, or for that matter elephants and donkeys, with mosquito netting.

reader2010's picture

"God is Dead." And, everything is permitted. 

tickhound's picture

I find the good lord to be flexible on the subject of property.

tickhound's picture

No, Lord of the Flies right over your head.

BLOTTO's picture

God is not dead Fredrich Wilhelm -thats why your remaining years you were mental lying in a comatose never had no real love in your smart, twisted, dark and talented as you were...

mkhs's picture

He said good, not evil.

homersimpson's picture

God help you if you're illegally on mine for too long..those aren't Duff Beer cans that are whizzin' by you..

tickhound's picture

K.  My slave and I will head to promised land then.  Idiot.

mayhem_korner's picture



God is set aside.  Thus, the perception of no accountability.

mayhem_korner's picture



Didn't realize you were an authority on what God cares about.

(I suspect you're not...)

FeralSerf's picture

It was logically proven by Spinoza in the 17th Century.  Read his "Ethics".

willwork4food's picture

'God doesn't give a shit.'


Yes, She does.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

If your interpretation of the Bible leads you to the idea that God is within you, and God is love, then yes, setting this aside is what leads people down dark paths.  In the face of obfuscation and temptation, there is still always a choice.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

Justice is dead. Natural and basic laws have been violated and everything is permitted, for those in the inner sanctum.

MachoMan's picture

So, when the article references two separate cases...  one where a squatter gets a million dollar home and one where a squatter doesn't, then justice is dead?  Makes sense...

erg's picture

One giantish fraud after another.

The TBTF are like a bunch of beekeepers; constantly blowing smoke up our collective asses.

stant's picture

dam! i want a piece of that action. wheres the dvd to buy on how to do that?. thier selling how to flip houses again on the radio screw that

toady's picture

It's old news here in Phoenix. I was sorely tempted to get into it, but with my luck I would be the one to get caught.

1. Find vacant properties that are NOT in your part of town. (Not next door!)

2.get them rekeyed.

3. Advertise on Craigslist or bulletin boards.

4. Operate on a cash only basis, get a rube to collect the rent, never actually be seen by anyone involved

Soooo many empty houses.... nobody could keep track of all of them....

tickhound's picture

Lux Central.  Beerwinecoffeespirits downtown Phoenix.  Go.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The mafia will take over this "business" opportunity.

This would work for the first few who try it, but only for a while, only until the mafia discover it...  Then you either give it up, or get bumped off, or your gun collection saves you.

Intoxicologist's picture

Here too (empty houses).  With snow on the ground its easier to tell which of these out-in-the-boonies homes are vacant, which I noted there were A LOT of them yesterday when I was out tooling around.  I'm not that clever that I thought about renting them out, but my thoughts were more like, "Hmm, if I ever get in a pinch and lose my place, I'd like that one...or that one...and, ooh, hey, that one's nice!

I like the rental angle though.

And I got a dog named Rube.  He can go collect the rent!

Edit: Rube got a Christmas bone from the neighbor a year ago.  The neighbor isn't a proficient speller and on the tag it said, "To: Rub," so now that's what I call him.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone moves out of their foreclosed home.  It's not really foreclosed on until the cops kick you out, and they are pretty hesitant to do this due to the optics of it.  

Mugatu's picture

First there was the Obama Free Phone.  Now there's the Obama Free Home!

Sweet!  This economy is going ballistic.

zhandax's picture

There is your housing rebound in a box!