EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

June 13, 2014

Resident blames economic collapse for 'junk' problem

Says banks offer him no incentive to clean up yard

ANDOVER — Joseph Boyer knows a thing or two about the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

That’s because, he says, he’s in the middle of one — and has been since 2008.

“It all comes down to one simple thing,” Boyer, of 2 Dufton Road, said last week. “Why, after five years, can’t they get me out of this house? All we have ever asked for is for the bank to prove they own the house.”

He says they can’t because the document has been lost and ownership of the property is in some kind of financial and legal limbo.

That’s why, he said, he continues to live there even though everyone wants him out.

Boyer, who has owned the three-family home since 1988, has been the focus of attention of banks, courts, town officials and neighbors for years because he refuses to leave the foreclosed property, which is now littered with a controlled chaos of items, ranging from old stoves and TVs to children’s toys and pet carriers.

He said the bank can’t lay claim to the property, but is trying to evict him anyway. Until he can get clear title to the land, he said, he has no incentive to clean it up. Nor does he think he should leave, since the bank would essentially be “stealing” his property.

But neighbors aren’t buying it.

Jeanne Teichert, who lives across the street and has a view of the property from her front porch, said while she feels badly for Boyer’s children, “I have no sympathy for him. It’s decreasing our property values. If you can’t afford to live here, then move.”

George Cooke, who lives next door, blames inaction by the town.

“How come they haven’t cited him?” he asked. “They should evict him, tear the house down and sell the land. I want him out.”

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