California's foreclosure crisis has spawned an unusual operation by a bankrupt Orange County businessman who takes control of vacant homes and rents them out, according to police, property records and neighbors.
From an office at an Anaheim massage clinic, Blair Hanloh has recorded deeds on at least 12 vacant houses in Southern California that he does not own. Property records show no evidence that the owners deeded interest to him—and five owners interviewed by The Orange County Register said that they had not.
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Hanloh uses his deeds, to homes in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, to line up tenants and to placate police, who are inevitably called by neighbors to oust new residents they believe to be squatters. (Click to learn more about the properties.)
Hanloh's scheme has rattled neighbors, befuddled police and frustrated the properties' real owners – who say they must spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to evict the tenants.
"I feel it's a sign of the times," said Erika Chowaiki, whose house for sale in San Dimas was seized without her knowledge by Hanloh. "People are out there desperate, trying to figure out a way to make money."
Mark Bellinger, an investor in an Anaheim Hills home taken over by Hanloh, fretted that he might lose the property.
"It'll take ....read more: http://www.ocregister.com/news/-245178--.html