I Swear, I Live Here!

Print anything three times, and it’s true. It’s the case for politics and it’s the case for bogus trends.

And it might, maybe, be the case for leases and deeds.

I’ve seen a few stories about the scam of breaking into a place and claiming to have a lease, and I can’t tell if it’s just an outlier or if it really is happening more, but it’s brilliant in its simplicity: All you need is a fake lease, a fake deed, a crowbar, and some new locks.

First, prep your fake paperwork. Ideally in triplicate, because if you have three copies it looks more real. Then break into an empty and foreclosed house, change the locks, set up and pay for utilities, and you’re home free. Claim you pay rent every month. When the rightful owners show up, say they must be mistaken, because some other guy owns the place. If they don’t pay you to leave, it’ll take months for them to evict you, months in which you’re living rent-free.

Brilliant and evil.

The variant I hadn’t heard of before takes a little more organization, because it involves faking ownership yourself with a bogus deed and title transfer, then writing leases and, I think, collecting rent. Of course, the group seems to be some kind of cult: ” Johnson said in a telephone interview that the organization is based in Nevada and headed by an archbishop who is her uncle, King Solomon II. She described herself and her uncle as sovereign, which she said means among other things they are not required to pay taxes, mortgages or homeowner association fees.”

And you thought a no-doc ARM was ridiculous!

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