If you live in North Texas, you may have already heard of the Schwabs. Heather and William Eric Schwab are currently facing numerous counts of “serial squatting” for playing homeowners to live in their homes without ever paying a dime. As a result of their scheme, victims of have sought legal advice from Girling Law to help ensure the rights to their property and to avoid mistakes like this in the future.
The Schwabs: Brief Squatter Family Background
Court records show that the Schwab couple has “rented” over a dozen homes in just the past couple years. On paper, homeowner victims claim everything from salary to rental history checks out. But once the Schwabs get the keys to a new home, it seems their only goal is to stay free of rent. From bouncing checks, to upcoming holiday seasons, the couple name every excuse in the book to delay payments.
What Constitutes as Squatting?
In the state of Texas, squatting is where a person or group of people enters a property to live in without having the intention of paying. Squatting can also be referred to under its legal term, “adverse possession.” Squatting is most commonly done without a homeowner’s notice. In the case of the Schwabs however, the family stays without paying even if they agreed to it.
This, of course, affects homeowners in a number of ways. Even after weeks or months of “warnings,” homeowners are required to follow a legal process to remove squatters. This results in months of unpaid rent and bills, affecting the property owners drastically.
Are there legal consequences of squatting?
Squatting can possibly lead to imprisonment or fines or both. However, Texas law often protects ‘squatters rights.’ According to Texas law, squatters can legally gain ownership of property simply by occupying the space for long enough. It is believed that could possibly be what the Schwab family has been attempting to do the past few years.
There are unfortunate financial consequences for homeowners as well. “Serial Squatters” like the Schwabs end up ruining Texas homeowners credit scores due to late or lack of payments. One homeowner and victim of the Schwabs scam, Dustin Harrison, stated, “We were 780, now I’m a 530.”
Don’t Be Caught Off Guard
Victims of the Schwab family’s scams agree that the couple appeared to be normal and friendly people. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting homeowner victims, Texas law may not be protecting them as much as they would hope.
With so much experience squatting in homes, the couple understands eviction law in some cases, as much as some attorneys do – and they utilize that knowledge to their fullest potential. That’s why victims like the Harrisons hired Mark Girling as their attorney to help recover their damages and get the family evicted legally and as quickly as possible.
Talk to a Knowledgeable and Aggressive Real Estate Attorney
Squatting in Texas can yield very serious consequences for both parties. If you are a homeowner and suspect your tenants may be squatters, talk to real estate and eviction law attorney Mark Girling. We will help guide you to take swift and legal action to ensure that your losses are minimized and that you can reclaim your property legally. For a free consultation, call the office of Girling Law at (817) 952-5024.
View The Video
Dallas-Fort Worth eviction attorney Marc Girling was cited in CBS’ latest article on ‘serial squatters’. Click here to read the article or watch the video below.