A woman who moved from Colorado to New Hampshire says she cannot sell her home in Colorado Springs because squatters have moved into her residence and refuse to leave.
Pauline Hawkins was outraged when learning of the situation from her realtor, Linda Schauer.
According to KRDO-TV in Colorado, prospective buyers were getting ready to close on the house when Schauer phoned Hawkins with the disturbing news that squatters are now living in her home.
Schauer indicated the squatters told her they had been informed the home was for rent.
They claimed they paid the landlord $2,700 and moved in, but later realized they had been scammed and lost all their money to this phony landlord.
“My heart just ached for them. I thought, oh my gosh, what a horrible situation for them, those poor people,” Hawkins told KRDO. “[I decided] they could stay until Christmas but they would have to leave after that.”
But now, the current residents refuse to leave the property.
“It’s completely shocking, it’s completely shocking that there are people like that,” said Hawkins. “It’s completely shocking that there are laws that are protecting these people to stay in my house. That’s the other thing that is completely shocking, there are no laws to protect me.”
Schauer, the real-estate agent, is also stunned, saying, “They put the utilities in their name. They do not own the house. I am appalled they are allowed to stay in this house. The police now won’t deal with it; they say it’s a civil matter.”
Hawkins, a single mom and teacher, needs the money to pay for medical bills for her son, who had a rare form of cancer.
The situation has prompted the potential buyer to back out of the purchase.
“They destroyed my house so much so that when the buyer went through the final walk through, [they] took the offer off the table,” said Hawkins.
Realtors can’t even show the home until the squatters are no longer there.
Hawkins now has to go through the legal process of evicting the squatters as if they were legal residents.
She says she has neither the time nor the money to spend on court fees, but she doesn’t have a choice. She says the long process protects the squatters and does nothing to help her situation.