DIX HILLS, Long Island — Days before the scheduled closing of a foreclosed home on Oakfield Avenue in Dix Hills, real estate agent Silvia Saravo took buyer Abdul Hack on a final walk-through. Little did they know, another family had already moved in.
“These guys just popped out of the house,” Hack said.
The agent, with Champion Mortgage, called the Suffolk County Police Department who sent officers to the house, but they refused to break into the home. They would, however, allow Saravo and the owner to install new locks.
After Saravo forced open the back door, they discovered furniture in almost every room, clothes in the closets, televisions and other appliances. Saravo said the occupants did not belong in the house, speculating they apparently broke through the back door or changed the locks of the property.
Saravo and Hack proceeded to change the locks in the home but the occupants returned the next day.
They claimed to be renters and said they found the home on Craigslist. They produced a lease and said it was signed by a man named John Morning, who they say told them he owned the home.
"I asked to speak to John Morning. They said his telephone number had been disconnected," Saravo told PIX11 News.
The family also had no copy of the Craigslist ad but did show receipts for two months' rent and security, totaling $9,300. They claim Morning did not tell them the house was in foreclosure and about to be sold.
The real estate agent and prospective buyer asked the occupants to leave the house. But police allowed the occupants to remain in the home for weeks while they investigated each sides’ claims.
Last week, a town inspector declared the house unsafe to live in, finding someone had tampered with the electrical system.
The occupants were ordered to vacate the home immediately or face a $15,000 penalty or 6 months in jail. The windows were then boarded up and the doors locked.
The house has been handed back to Saravo and Champion Mortgage until electrical problems can be resolved.