Squatting is one of the after effects of housing meltdown - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Squatting is one of the after effects of housing meltdown

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

According to neighbors, the previous owners of a home at the edge of Cotswold vacated the premises more than two years ago. Folks along McAlway say the bank foreclosed. However, it has not been totally empty.

Empty food and drink containers provide the evidence that squatters have set shop here on the back porch.

Suzanne Thierry lives just down the block, and she say's the illegal occupiers are just flat out bold.

"They actually applied for a Duke Power account and were turned down so Duke Power knows who they are, and they pulled power from one of the neighbors behind and Duke Power came out and turned that off."

T.J. Larsen runs MyTownhome.com. He thinks these cases are isolated. 

"When you see any property with negative characteristics on it. It hurts a community, "he said. "I think the biggest impact is on the property that is adjacent to that home."

Key Street on Charlotte's Westside offers a telling example.

Boarded homes, overgrown weeds and not to mention the unseen vandalism inside.

Members of the neighborhood association, including Judy Hill, worry about a ripple effect.

"You don't get worried about the public safety, but the safety of the individuals as well as businesses in the neighborhood."Hill said.

On Key Street we found a number of safety violations listed by the city of Charlotte right on the front door, and folks in Cotswold are hoping for the same kind of help.

"Code enforcement has gotten involved...hopefully they will do something about it."

In a number of cases, code enforcement officers are visiting these properties, and in some instances they are finding people who move out or the owners who makes repairs.

Many times it is a struggle to locate absentee owners and even the right people who are holding the mortgage notes.

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