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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — A new strategy by squatters in vacant homes is popping up in North Carolina’s largest city.

The Mecklenburg Times reports that people have been filing documents called affidavits of adverse possession which they say allows them to take possession of vacant
properties
.

North Carolina law allows such seizures under rare circumstances. But the affidavits don’t protect claimants from trespassing charges, and last month Charlotte police charged a man who had filed the paperwork with burglary.

Sgt. Walt Bowling says such cases can be confusing for police, since squatters produce affidavits which they say allow them to live in the home.

There’s no statewide database of such affidavits, but Tom Miller of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission says he’s surprised to hear about the Charlotte cases.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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