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HUD wins in court, plans to evict 'squatters' on Escondido property

Neighbors have complained for years about property on W El Norte Parkway.

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — CBS 8 has been working to get answers about a property in Escondido where squatters have taken over, according to neighbors.

The property in 2100 block of W El Norte Parkway has been owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the past eight months, after it fell into foreclosure in September.

About a dozen people are living on property, both inside the house and in several RVs parked on the land.

Andrew Pomerantz, an attorney representing HUD, asked San Diego County Superior Court Judge Robert Longstreth on Tuesday to allow the federal agency to evict the people living illegally on the property.

“My client is waiving all monetary amounts in this action. We only seek to recover possession of the premises,” Pomerantz said in downtown court.

Neighbors have been complaining about squatters on the property since 2019, when the previous owner passed away.

The neighbors contacted CBS 8 in April, asking for help.

“It's a beautiful neighborhood and it was beautiful until these people came in and took over.  Now, it's next to impossible to get them out,” neighbor Michelle Gaano told CBS 8.

Court records showed the step-daughter of the deceased owner was still living in the house.

Terry Bearer had filed a response in court, saying tenants on the property were seeking pandemic rental assistance.

Even so, neither Bearer nor any of the current residents showed up for Tuesday's eviction court hearing.

“We had a trial and the defendant did not show up,” said Pomerantz.

“The secretary of HUD prevailed and the court awarded us a judgment in our favor, a judgment for possession of the premises,” said Pomerantz.

The attorney said it should take about a month for the Sheriff's department to evict the people on the property; then, a few more months for the property to be sold.

“I would think that it would probably go to market and hopefully sell rather quickly.  Obviously, some repair work needs to be done.  It will then have to go to a realtor to market it and then, in light of the hot market, the property should move and hopefully sell rather quickly,” said Pomerantz.

CBS 8 reached out to Bearer and other residents for comment but received no response.

The current tenants have five days to appeal the judge’s decision.

WATCH RELATED: Escondido neighbors fed up with ‘squatters’ on property owned by HUD (April 2022)