Half-million dollar home held hostage by squatter

Image 1 of 2

Yvonne Cazares and her husband own GCA Builders.  The couple buys and flip homes like this property on Rosemont in Pearland. Cazares says she purchased the half million dollar home for $380,000 while it was in foreclosure. 

Cazares says, "I first thought OK this is a scam then I called the title company and I asked them are you sure the title is clear and they said yeah absolutely."

Cazares thought it was a fishy because the day she purchased the property she decided to do a walk through and she says she found a man moving in. He's 57 year old Harold Higgins.

A man who was convicted in 2007 in an organized criminal activity scheme involving home loans.  A man Cazares says knows how to use squatters' rights to his advantage in a home she purchased.

"Once he actually puts a piece of furniture or steps foot onto a property he is legally a tenant," says Cazares. 

And that's where Yvonne says her nightmare began.  Even though she has a deed of sale and tax records showing her company owns the house Higgins has refused to give up the house that he doesn't actually sleep in.

She says, "He said he purchased the house for $3,000. (So he purchased a $5000,000 house for $3,000? Where does that fly?) That's exactly what I said and I got a little aggressive after that and said show me your paperwork and he said I don't have to show you anything I'm going to call my attorney."

After Cazares had the Constable lock Higgins out she says he filed with the courts saying he was a tenant.  So Cazares says the courts ordered him to pay rent and when he was evicted she says he filed an appeal. That left the house in limbo for the last two months.

I contacted Higgins by phone who seemed confused by the whole purpose of my call then he referred me to his attorney.  Jeff Jackson said his client and Cazares are in litigation and there will be no further comment.

Cazares says, "I'm very much concerned how the legal system has allowed all of this to occur."