Thursday, June 17, 2010
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or squatting in a vacant home, then I suppose you are excused from knowing about a recent development in Kirkland about, you guessed it, people squatting in a vacant home! A vacant mansion to be exact-and worth nearly 3.2 million dollars. The squatters who have been identified by Kirkland KOMO News as Jill Lane and friend James, set up shop in the luxury home at 435 8th Avenue W in early June. They exchanged the “For Sale” signs with “No Trespassing” and “Privately-Owned” substitutes, baffling neighbors and more importantly the home’s selling agent who had nearly $80,000 worth of staging furniture inside the house (shown above). Now how did they manage this? They didn’t. After escaping arrest for nearly two weeks, Tuesday marked an end to the situation. Following much public outcry, Jill Lane was arrested for criminal trespass and failure to show proof of ownership of the home. Lane’s friend was not present when her arrest was made. Lane, a co-owner of the Puyallup based Urban Tanning Spa initially submitted a full price offer for the sale of the home, but was rejected when she informed the bank that a “bonded promissory note” would be the form of payment. However, that did not stop the squat. After, Lane regarded a UCC financing statement claiming that title and interest in the property was now held by the “Priority Rose Children’s Outreach”, a charity which was incorporated only 2 weeks ago. (First Citizen Bank is the true owner) Although the charity’s cause was legitimate, promoting spiritual development of mankind, its contact information was not. The phone number listed for the charity routed callers to a company run by Lane called NW Note Elimination, which helps eliminate mortgages. Initially, police were hesitant to intervene in the dispute because it was a civil case. However when the police department faced such a large amount of public protest about the squatting, they reviewed deeds, tax logs, and utility bills, prompting them to take action. A rational outcome, to a very irrational situation.