Man With The $16 House Faces Eviction, But Says, "It's Not Over Till It's Over"

Categories: Legal Battles

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Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Kenneth Robinson overtook an abandoned Flower Mound home. Now Bank of America is claiming ownership and attempting to kick him out.
Surely you recall for the tale of The Man With the $16 House, a September cover story about Kenneth Robinson, who occupied a $340,000 Flower Mound home for the cost of filing paperwork with Denton County.

Now, Robinson faces eviction from the place that's been his home since June, according to WFAA. Bank of America filed court documents with Denton County that claim the bank owns the property after a January 3 foreclosure. Robinson could be kicked out if the court sides with the bank.

At the end of August, a spokesperson for Bank of America sent the Observer a statement saying the bank was "proceeding with the foreclosure process, and we anticipate it will be completed in the next two months." Five months later, here goes.

"This is simply a transaction," Robinson tells Unfair Park, describing the situation today exactly as he has since moving in.

Last summer, when his new residence became an overnight circus of visitors and reporters curious about how he'd landed the suburban home, Robinson made it clear that under his application of the law of adverse possession, he did not own the home. He did not have the deed. It would be years before his inhabiting the spot could transition from a legal maneuver allowing for rent-free living to bona fide home ownership.

SMU law students even invited Robinson to give a lecture about his coup.

Several others in Denton County have attempted to replicate his "transaction," including a few with whom Robinson associated. Many, including those close to Robinson, ended up facing burglary charges.

The laws of adverse possession are written for the owner's benefit, Robinson says. The owner "has a right to claim his property." But Robinson, who's been maintaining the home's bean-shaped pool, paying for utilities and sprucing up the yard and home, won't reveal how he plans to handle the possible eviction, saying right now he's opting "not to talk about it."

"You guys are doing a great job of keeping this going," he said, taking a jab at the media but never losing his cool.

As he chatted with Unfair Park and railed on the media's fixation with his scenario, he spied more reporters outside his home. Once again, he's the center of the circus and remains characteristically vague, though neighbors told Channel 8 that Robinson has been scoping out other homes for adverse possession.

Robinson is scheduled to appear in Denton County court on Monday and offered only one definite assertion about his situation: "It's not over till it's over."


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96 comments
Go2emedia_00
Go2emedia_00

Just as I suspected. Law schools are not only putting "criminals" out into the mainstream. It's WAY past time to shut down all the law schools. America has more lawyers and more laws than the rest of the world combined. That's why jobs go away and never come back. Way too many laws and too many lawyers. SHUT DOWN THE LAW SCHOOLS NOW!!!!

Freespaceboy
Freespaceboy

He can keep the house. file a bankruptcy and trustee to pay BOA $1 per month, especially since all parties involved have acknowledged that he has been in the property adversely. Also he can challenge the lawyer of BOA and seek to disqualify him because ignorance (of BOA) is not a defense. He can strike the sale and transfer of BOA since the county took his money for the filing. A load of things can be done to thwart and delay this eviction. In the end, which I hope he isn't (RObinson) a malicious fiend, the property can be "mysteriously" destroyed and no one wins. Now the 300K house would become an amazing liability for the BOA. Shame.

Houston cats
Houston cats

It's interesting how all these scammers came from different states. Mr. Robinson came from Tennessee. He obviously doesn't realize the citizens of Texas are not stupid and have no use for his get rich quick schemes.  Selling Ebooks, adverse possession, lies etc. 

This isn't about race, it is about a total scammer trying to get something for nothing. Ever notice how many of these people have criminal backgrounds or have been in prison? Claimto be sovereign citizens or are just plain lazy dumb dumbs? 

If Mr. Robinson is so smart, why was his girlfriend and her entire family arrested forburglary of a habitation? Oops, did they not follow his ebooks advice? Gee did Kennygive them bad advice? Did he forget to open the law books he had himself photographed with at SMU?

pencil
pencil

Jon Daniel is only projecting his own latent racism, his sanctimonious moral high ground is lower than whale shite.

Jay
Jay

All of you locker-room lawyers should take a few hours and read the Texas Property Code, the Civil Practices and Remedies Code and appropriate case law concerning adverse possession and the rights of mortgage holders and mortgage servicers. In Texas, mortgage servicers are authorized by statute to foreclose real property even if they are not the holder of the note or beneficiary of the deed of trust lien. Bank of America foreclosed the deed of trust lien which secured payment of the original purchase money note (or a renewal and extension of the original note), and they have been granted Trustee's Deed conveying title to them in fee simple, either on their own behalf or on behalf of the note holder. Mr. Robinson holds no title or legal interest in the property whatsoever, but does have unauthorized possession gained by breaking and entering. Because he did not obtain possession lawfully, a simple FED suit in Justice Court will lead to his removal from the premises. BTW, a "deed" is not a "title" to real property. It is an instrument of conveyance of some or all of the various components of title to real property.

pencil
pencil

It would be fabulous if Jon Daniel would show up the rest of the racist bastards posting here by inviting Kenneth Robinson to live in his residence until he can find a new place to adverse possess.

Mike
Mike

If he had a challenge, he would have challenged when the bank bought the assets in bankruptcy court just recently. MERS, chain of custody, Wall Street greed, and whatever else twits want to throw into the pot do not matter. Now booting him and tenants he is cheating into the street is just enforcement of that order by a local and recent court. Whatever happened before no longer matters.

Houston cats
Houston cats

B of A will win, they purchased the assets in bankrupcty court. Robinson will lose. Hehas no color of title and no brains. All he can do is beg at SMU for free legal advice. Karma will get Kenneth Robinson just like it did the LaTour family. 

Houston cats
Houston cats

Kenneth Robinson did not research adverse possession. He just bought the underground anti government book on the topic. Now he's claiming to have spent hours researching this topic? He's a fraud, mark my words. He didn't complete his military service. fact. He's claiming to be a real estate millionaire. Here's the issues all Kenny's lies are coming back to himfull swing. 

Hmm wonder if he considers himself a sovereign citizen like so many other of these squatters? 

Complete dumb, dumb.....

Phelps
Phelps

It will be interesting to see whether BoA can actually prove ownership.  It's almost certainly mixed up in the whole MERS clusterfuck, and there is a good chance that BoA can't prove chain of custody on the deed.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I bet he wishes he could go back in time and not do any interviews or lectures(ok, maybe the lectures, I mean, that's $$$$).

So, there are other people living in the house now? Man, got a house for $16, and now making money on people living in the house minus expenses.This guy should run for an office of some sort.

HeyNow
HeyNow

The key to adverse possession is that the owner sleeps on his rights for a long time, usually defined by statute. In most jurisdictions it's 10 years, in some longer. Robinson is on the right track here, but when the true owner (BofA) brings an action for trespass or ejectment of the would-be adverse possessor within the statute of limitations period, they are exercising their rights and that defeats the claims of an adverse possessor. If Robinson has only been there for several months or even a year, he likely hasn't run out the statutory period. 

Adverse possession is an important doctrine. If the foreclosure/mortgage situation gets much worse, we'll be glad of it. Would you rather have someone move in to a vacant house on your block, turn on the utilities, cut the grass, keep up the fence, pay the dues, pay the taxes, and be your neighbor rather than have it sit vacant for 10 years? Adverse possession quiets title to abandoned property, creates value where there might have been nothing. Blocks with many vacant houses turn into Detroit and no one wants Detroit. In fact, an argument can be made for a shorter SOL during a time of crisis in the housing market. The last thing you want is houses in your neighborhood lying "fallow."This guy may be a grifter or not, but adverse possession is deeply rooted in the common law and our history for very good reasons. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Are property taxes being paid on the property by him.  Well then maybe denton county should seize the property.  Im pretty sure no one els in DFW is allowed to live in a home w/o paying property taxes

Houston cats
Houston cats

My prediction ~ Kenneth Robinson will be arrested soon. He needs to be investigated for organized crime. If he was so smart why doesn't he understand what color of title means? 

These squatters are complete low lifes that don't want to work. Today it came out in the news  that in Cleveland, TX  two squatters broke into a man in the military's home and started selling his possessions outside his home in a garage sale. How low is that? 

Chris
Chris

Betty, here it goes again, the black people screaming racist!!! I happen to live in the neighborhood and I don't care what color the person is, it is wrong.. Contrary to popular belief the only thing he has done to the property was clean the pool up. He was forced to do that by the EPA. If all of this is so legit why did it take him 2 months to get the utilities turned on? I actually have talked to him and in my opinion he is a piece of crap...I am sure when he gets evicted he will steal all the belongings that were in the house when he broke into it.

He gained access to the house by breaking into it. If you would follow the story closely you would see that all the people he supposedly taught his system to have been evicted and some arrested. FYI there is one still in jail in Louisiana that none of the BROTHERS will bail out.

If he is such a good guy why don't you help him out and co sign on the loan for him so he can legally own the home..

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Bye bye, you f+cker!  My brother did this one time, and I thought, he was a piece of shite.  People work for years to get ahead, and some +sshole with a plan swoops in to claim the property.  Nope!  And I don't care if it's legal....it's wrong.  Ridin' a bike on the street is legal also, but frickin' stupid!

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

BOA did not know they even owned that house, soon as those Red Necks in Flound Mound saw a black man move into that house they went crazy, they had no idea how he got into house  but went crazy. Its sad how black people make white people crazy.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

How can any rational person read even just the responses to this article, let alone the other ones over these many months, and think this has nothing to do with Mr. Robinson's race?  They can't. You may see these hysterical, illogical, ill-informed rants as just the usual ignorant Dallas drivel (or maybe not. maybe you agree with all of it!), but rational people realize this is simply a person taking advantage of a broken system. And if you are pissed off about that, maybe you should complain to your state and federal elected officials who wrote these laws...

PatentLawya
PatentLawya

Phelps - you hit the nail on the head.  That's were Robinson's bet lays.  He bets his $16 and out of pocket clean-up costs that BofA can't produce a proper chain of title to show ownership.  Given mess that many of these loan repackagers have made of the chain of title, this is far from over.  I will say that Robinson hasn't done himself any favors by speaking out in the press.  He's made himself a very public target for BofA.

Guest
Guest

People generally overestimate how difficult it is to prove ownership of a deed.  It isn't rocket science, and BoA will certainly be able to show that it has a superior claim than the guy who just moved into the place. 

Tim Covington
Tim Covington

I completely agree with you. There are houses in my neighborhood that have not had anyone living in them for years. At least the one across the street has someone who occasionally works on it.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Do not confuse the suburbanites, racists, and plainly ignorant people with facts! If the guy was an out of work white evangelical with 4 kids, the neighbors would be bringing over green been casserole... 

Chris
Chris

His whole plan was to get the bank to pay him off to move out of the house..

It looks like an apartment over there, there must be 7 or 8 people living there now.

These type people live to work the system, I agree he should be arrested. He knows he broke in the house just like the police do, but he replaced the locks and was able to produce a key when the police were called on him.

 Being a resident and a taxpayer of Denton county, I am pissed that they didn't throw them out like Tarrant county did in November. If that position is an elected official, they will have hell explaining that come election time..

Houston cats
Houston cats

Chris,

Of course, he broke into this house. The key didn't fall from the real estate heavens. Kenneth Robinson is nothing but a cheap hustler. Maybe he should have completed his military duty to this country and he wouldn't have to scramble financially now. 

Probably everyone is camping over at Kenny's because they have been arrested and no longer have a free home in which to live. Criminal yes, racist no. 

I hope B of A plays this by the letter of the law. (and I am no fan of big banks)

Surely, they won't pay this idiot to move when all they have to do is have him arrested for free? 

Meiko
Meiko

Just pointing this out... but.. those "Red Necks in Flower Mound" don't seem to have an issue with the color of anyone's skin. I live in Flower Mound in a neighborhood very close to this crook, and it's a very mixed race neighborhood. We have one or two "white" families, the rest of the neighborhood is Hispanic, Indian, we have a Japanese family, and a few other ethnicities, including "blacks."

The only people making a big deal out of his race are the people crying for something for nothing.

I'm sorry that your parents didn't teach you values and morals, but I'm quite happy to work for my home, surrounded by "Red Necks" that are actually quite nice and accepting of people of other races.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

"Red Necks" (sic)?   In $350K homes, they must be rather well-compensated rednecks.

catbird
catbird

When a black guy commits a crime it's just payback for slavery and on-going white racism...don't you guys know that buy now?

Crap Detector
Crap Detector

Betty, is this really your comment? Rather racist for someone who is running for political office. I'm disappointed, as this statement sounds more like JWP...

Chris
Chris

Betty, you could even help him pay the homeowners dues which he has yet to pay for 2012, which were due by Jan 31st.

Houston cats
Houston cats

Robinson comes from the something for nothing crowd. You can't break into a house, mow the lawn, throw pool parties and live in a 340k house. In addition, maybe he should have stayed in the Marines. 

Kenneth Robison is clearly delusional and has a criminal mindset. 

pencil
pencil

So since Robinson is black he should be able to keep the house?

Chris
Chris

If you read and understood an earlier post by me, I stated BoA bought the note from another mortgage company which went out of business. Unfortunately it takes a few months for BoA to follow legal procedures to file foreclosure on the property. The day they filed it is also the same day they had Kenny served with eviction papers. Being the genius he is, he refused to leave the property. (  In my opinion so he could remove all belongings and some things like a pool table that were left by previous owner). Since he refused to leave, there is a court hearing next week where the judge will hear both parties claim to ownership and make a ruling on whether Kenny has to move out.

I will be there laughing at him when they tell him Tear yo Ass!!! 

Those of you who are defending him and think what he has done is so great, why don't you co sign and help him buy the property? You could also let him baby sit your children..

Come on people get real, the man broke into a house and because he is black and everyone in the neighborhood wants him out, we are all racist.. I wonder why the media hasn't interviewed any of our black resdients? Maybe because they want to play the race card up a little. It wouldn't be as sensational if there was a black resident speaking out about him...

Phelps
Phelps

People overestimate how hard it is to show prima facie ownership of a deed.  He's presumably challenging that ownership, and if the MERS documents transferred ownership but were never filed with the county registrar, they have problems.

Meiko
Meiko

You're calling people you don't know, have never talked to, and they've never been quoted, racists because you assume they are? I'm sure Ms Cleo would like her scam back.

Seriously, no one here in Flower Mound is saying anything at all about his race. Many people are saying many things, but the only "racist" screams have been from people who are so far removed from the situation that it's pointless to put any weight to their comments.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Do you sell tickets to your little personal perfect world? Can we squat there?

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

You say if you live in the suburbs, then you are ignorant and a racist as well.

I say look in the mirror and you'll see the face of true ignorance.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

But the neighbors don't feel the same way about a con man/common thief that happens to be black. Racism, pure and simple. By the way, my black neighbor figured out that giving away his home-grown tomatoes to the neighbors would make him the most popular man in the neighborhood, black, white, or whatever.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

what does your reply have to do with heynow's post?

scottindallas
scottindallas

what about the mortgage originator, or the mortgage servicer, or the appraiser?  They were working the system too?  Good grief, you're bitching about the rats on the USS Ship of Fools, that suffers systemic corruption and rot?  Blame the powerless and absolve the powerful, beautiful.  Funny, considering your namesake.

Guest
Guest

The long-time official position of the Denton County District Attorney is to let all sorts of criminals go without charges, even in situations where the case would seem to be easy to make.

Like how when Dallas Office Robert Powell swore under oath that he smelled alcohol on a driver's breath only to be contradicted by his own words on his dashcam tape. Despite the clear perjury, the Denton County D.A. did not even consider filing charges, and Robert Powell continues to be a police officer (though not in Dallas) to this day (the only lesson we can assume he's learned is that it's perfectly okay to violate the law and the civil rights of the general public).

Voters didn't give a shit at all about the Denton D.A.'s decision to coddle criminals when he came up for re-election after the Powell case.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Exactly!  That's why the Black DA, and the Black City Council members in Flower Mound (as if) and the the Black owners of the Mortgage Company all let the brotha slide!  The "Law" had nothing to do with it

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

which I am certain he is the only one past due in the association, right?

Guest
Guest

Actually the bald possession adverse possession statute in Texas is ten years.  If Robinson had borken into a house, mowed the lawn, and thrown pool parties for ten years, and in that ten-year time the title owner never came by and figured out what was going on then he really could own the house.  Think about it.  It makes sense.  The policy of adverse possession is that property should be put to its most efficient use.  If an owner abandons the property for ten years, then it will go to someone who has actually been possessing and using it during that time.  The real story is that adverse possession is not a loophole that you can manipulate.  The bank found out about Robinson's adverse claim and asserted its superior claim within the ten-year statutory period, so it's over.

scottindallas
scottindallas

actually, you can if the owners are no where to be found and not maintaining the property.

Odd1_2
Odd1_2

exactly!!!!!! why is it that whites are always against blacks..... yet its the blacks that keep brinigni it up!!!!!!!!!!!!   the old addage  "i think thous does protest too much."

Clarence
Clarence

A lawyer in Florida tried this tactic. He was actually trying to help mortgagors in default keep their homes. He asked the purported owner of the lien to, "show me the note". He was successful in stalling some foreclosures which allowed peeps to stay in their homes. The courts had sympathy for real property owners losing their homes. I applauded him at the time as he was working pro bono and some of the folks he was helping were actually able to use the delay to get their mortgage paid up or refinanced. This foreclosure will not be stalled. Robinson is a grifter and if he thinks the lawyers working for BAC won't get their shit together in 10 years he's an idiot too.

Guest
Guest

Plus BOA doesn't have to prove perfect title.  They just have to prove that their claim or right is superior to Robinson's.  Since Robinson is a bald possessor without claim of right, that won't be hard.  He's not a BFP.

Guest
Guest

If you are not a good faith purchaser, it doesn't matter if you don't have notice of the deed.  The recording statute only protects good faith purchasers. 

Phelps
Phelps

Only if the someone has notice of the instrument.  If he really did perform a good faith search for the owner (and in fact, the media coverage works for him in that sense -- why would be publicize bad faith?) then the worst he's looking at it being ordered off the property.That's BoA's best case.  Things can go downhill quickly for them from there.  If the deed changed hands multiple times in MERS without any notice, and they can't get a full chain of transfers (which might happen if some of those transfers went through entities that no longer exist) then they have real problems.  At that point, their best argument is, "we're too big to fail, so fuck you, little guy."

Guest
Guest

A deed doesn't have to be recorded to be enforceable against someone who isn't a good faith purchaser of the property.  Deeds often get recorded in Texas decades after they change hands.

cinnamonowl
cinnamonowl

Great - you know you've won your argument when a person ignores what you actually say to reiterate an argument no one actually made. 

The original poster described three groups of people, if you want to conflate them all as one, that again, is on you. 

If you think prejudice only and always equals racism, and has nothing to do with class or religion or what someone chooses to cook for breakfast, again, that's on you. 

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

What does FM look like? There are black residents in that neighborhood. I guess they're racist too.

cinnamonowl
cinnamonowl

What is your deal? He didn't say that everyone white is racist. He did refer to suburbanites (and I'm one, by the way), who have a reputation of trying to "escape" the city, racists, and ignorant people. If you think that list only implies an entire race of people, that's on you, not him. 

By the way, up in suburban Detroit there are many neighbors who are freaked by new people snapping up short sales and foreclosures, who have come from the city and have brought bad habits like standing in the street. Both groups by the way? Black. I've met black folks who are suspicious of Asians and Latinos who don't like blacks and ... this supports, not invalidates his argument.

Robinson doesn't "look" like Flower Mound. Whether it's a race thing or a class thing or a religious thing, is going to be in the eye of the beholder. But they probably would throw a ticker tape parade for Saddleback Sam, is what he's arguing, and I think he's right. 

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

what is your deal? You think everyone that's white is racist? I have 2 black neighbors on my street that live in more expensive houses than mine. The guy that lives next door, we actually talked about this issue because a house across from us has been for sale for about a month and we joked about "adversely repossessing" it. He said the guy is probably a con man or a gypsy. I'm sorry you weren't there to call him a racist.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

If that were the case, BofA would've already produced the title. 

Guest
Guest

I'm not sure what your saying.  The law says that BoA still owns the house and can kick the man out. 

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

zooom (sonic Boom) .  HeyNow actually talked about "THE LAW", in context of our legal system and how it interacts with this particular bus cycle of real estate. My point is that the "suburbanites, racists, and plainly ignorant people" don't really care about the law here, as you can tell by how people have reacted

scottindallas
scottindallas

Have you ever bought a house?  The appraisers obviously inflated home prices to make these homes sell.  I know the valuation the appraiser derived for my property failed to consider  negative factors in my home valuation.  The lenders have a duty to ensure the borrowers are credit worthy, that the home values are sound.  The title company is duty bound to protect the quality of the title.  The whole process of home buying, is designed to protect the consumer, purchaser/borrower.  Research shows that most of the fraud occurred by the lenders and not due to any malfeasance on the part of borrowers.  Furthermore, troubled borrowers are NOT responsible for the mass defaults.  Subprime borrowers are more likely to struggle to honor a loan than wealthy borrowers, but I know they don't reveal these facts on FOX News and AM talk radio.  The problematic default are in the higher end loans, loans where the gov't doesn't even have a hand. 

Guest
Guest

What did the mortgage originator, servicer, or appraiser do wrong?  You seem to assume a lot about those involved with the original transaction, except of course the people who took out the loan to buy the place. 

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I agree with you completely!  Life is much easier for African-Americans is the USofA, especially in Dallas. It's white people that have been historically disadvantaged.

catbird
catbird

I would guess Jon that people have been allowing the "brotha" to slide all of his his life. That's the way it is in affirmative action America.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Jon, make sure to read the comment Chris made below. POW. :)

Chris
Chris

Jon, actually yes.. There are 2 other homes who have contacted HOA and have set up payment plans.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Burglary and trespass are offenses against a property owner by definition.  The property owner is the aggrieved party.  But, in this case, or in the ideal case of adverse possession, the owner is no where to be found, to declare his title.  Once BofA raises their head, and declares ownership, and can show title, the adverse possessor is out.  All this has to go according to due process and apparently that has happened.

See, the "burglary and trespass" are not crimes for which there is actual evidence.  The owner reported no such thing.  Once someone can claim residence in a dwelling, the are given certain rights under Texas law.  They must be evicted through due process. 

Guest
Guest

Adverse possession isn't an exception to any criminal statute.  If a bald possessor like Robinson comes on property he knows he didn't buy, breaks into the home, tries to sit on it for 10 years, and gets caught, he broke criminal trespass laws (and probably several others).  Just because adverse possession might have allowed him to keep the property if he were successful for ten years (he wasn't), it doesn't mean he didn't break any laws and can't be prosecuted for it.

cp
cp

Changed what "fact"? Do you not understand the LEGAL definition of adverse possession? 

Guest
Guest

Neither of those two things changes the fact that scottindallas' legal opinion was wrong:  You can't break into a house, mow the law, throw pool parties, and live in a $340K house simply because you can't find the owner and the home isn't properly maintained. 

As to your point, it doesn't matter how poorly a home is maintained if it's locked.  A lock is plenty of notice for trespass.     

Phelps
Phelps

Actually, if the property isn't maintained, then that can be evidence of a lack of notice for trespass.  As for burglary, the question will be if he had intent to commit a felony, theft or assault.  Adverse possession is not theft nor a felony.

Guest
Guest

There is no exception in the criminal burglary or trespass statutes for an property that isn't maintained. 

Odd1_2
Odd1_2

now granted...... if adverse possession is the law and he followed the law and IF BOA didnt meet the statue of limitations then she should get to keep the  house just like anyof the rest of us could do.  He may just have been smarter .. just saying

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