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OK, so long story short (if thats at all possible) My husband and i recently had to extract my Mother in law from her home in FL and bring her here to CO to live with us.
We recieved some concerning information from a close friend who lives in FL stating that Mom was having some issues with unwanted guests in her home!!
Some need to know info... Mom suffered a severe head trauma approx 5 years ago and her mental state has not been the same since.
back story on these 'Unwanted guests' A mother and son knocked on Moms door during a thunderstorm and asked to use her phone. My mother is very kind hearted by nature and so she let these people into her home, They NEVER left!! this was approx 9-12 months ago, we cannot get an exact date as Mom is unwilling to talk about it and gets very upset and defensive if we try to discuss it. we were informed that these people were doing, selling and possibly manufacturing illegal substances in her home(meth). we also believe that they were sedating her throughout this process , to keep her agreeable to what was happening.
We had no idea this was going on we feel terribly guilty , but she kept it from all friends and family! Seeing all these things in person was terrifying and so much worse than we had in initially thought .
We have since done some research and this seems pretty prevalent in FL To pray on the elderly .
Unfortunately once these people (lets call them people) have set up to receive mail at her home they have rights to reside there , also we did get her to admit that she has taken small amounts of $ from them - not nec for bills/rent but money was exchanged which again gives them property rights to HER home.


We have looked into eviction process but it is costly and again she gets very defensive if this is brought up.


We were told by her Dr in the rehab that she wasnt to drive and had her license taken , since then she has somehow had a new one issued online and has been using her car regardless of drs advise. We really dont know how to breach the subject that we can't allow her to drive anymore as we are afraid of how she will react so we have been trying to pre occupy her with daily outings when we can and distract her with daily errands and making her part of our daily family routines.


She has Afib and uses c-pap machine as well as many meds to keep her OCD and depression balanced we need to find her a dr here in CO but she is so reluctant to go to anyone but her DR in FL!!
She gets very fixated on paying her bills, refinancing the house, going to the bank ,mundane tasks that she wasn't doing at all when at home but now is adamant she needs to 'take care of her business' her OCD is worsened because she cannot tell us the last time she went to her Dr or gotten meds so is very unstable as far as mood and behavior.


We cannot allow her to have her cell phone as she fixates on this also , whether it is Calling her bank branch to talk to someone and question them over and over about her account or sending money to some 3rd party for loans or paying bills she no longer has power over, she is risking our personal finance at this point- I let her use my cell a few times and as soon as she wasnt supervised she was trying to wire money to some scam artist who said they could lower her monthly home payment.


I guess i really don't even know what im asking or what my 'question' is. Just looking for a place to start and some advise on how to move forward , right now this whole situation is playing hard on my own mental state- we live in a very small apartment in downtown denver and being in such tight living quarters and taking on her financial burdens are definitely taking its toll.


Thanks in advance for any help / advise that any one can offer us. Just need a plan :-)

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Yes, Rainmom and I truly meant no disrespect but makes you realize even more how vulnerable people really can be.
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Gershun- I know, right? I had much the same reaction but even more so. I was additionally bewildered by the OPs reaction - and expressed it in a harsh, judgemental way that was unfair and certainly unsympathetic. I feel badly about that now.

As hard as it is to understand this situation, it is true that once squatters of one slimy variety or another work their way in the door AND then manage to receive mail at the address - it makes them legal tenets with tenets rights. If you don't handle an eviction legally - no funny business like disconnecting the electricity- the home owner can find themselves in a heap of trouble. Incredulous, isn't it?

Now that the elderly owner is safely living elsewhere- time for the OP to begin the daunting task of recovering the property - which starts with a legal eviction- as the OP knows and is working on.

It's funny - weeks and weeks go by with the typical problems of living day by day with an elderly loved one suffering from dementia- then a post like this comes along. Kind of mind blowing, isn't it?
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Note: For those just joining the thread, try to read the original post. This is not a home invasion technically, but a scam on a vulnerable elder who with a traumatic brain injury, naively allowed people into her home. The home is now described as a flop house for addicts and the OP and her husband had to rescue their 75 y.o. Mom out. She does not have a mental illness, but similar behaviors and OCD most likely caused by the trauma.
Forgive me for speaking for the OP, but she is overwhelmed, this is really happening, and yes, it is bizzarre, but not so unusual a crime these days.imo.

.
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I can't believe that someone can ram their way into your home and after a certain period suddenly have tenant rights? That sounds simply preposterous to me. So that means if someone bodily shoved me out of the way in my property, drugged me, so I couldn't speak, stayed for a few weeks, they could suddenly have tenant rights? Forgive me, I'm joining this discussion late but have I missed something somewhere or what?

I mean no disrespect here. I am just baffled that in this day and age this could happen.
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Your MIL sounds mentally ill or something else is going on to the point that she's in danger of losing her assets if YOU don't take action. You need to do a Power of Attorney (POA) on her. Yes, she will have to agree to it, but they are fairly easy to obtain. You have received some very good suggestions here and I believe if you and your husband apply most of them, you will secure whatever health and finances are in the best interest of your MIL. Basically, you have to get really assertive with Mom...but speak to her about how you know SHE wants what's best for all of you, and protecting her assets, her health and her rights is number one. Tell her that she is a smart woman and has a kind heart but that its essential to handle things quickly so that she's protected. I'm assuming she's on medication...get on the phone with her Florida doc and tell him what's been going on and see if he can make a phone appt. with her, to convince her to see a local doctor with you. I'd also ask if there's anything he could do in order to help the situation; write a letter recommending that you and your husband should step into help MIL due to reasons of her illness and the unhealthy situation in her home. This may help you secure the POA more easily.
I had a similar situation, though my mother lived in an apt for age 55 plus when a man in his 40s who'd visit his mom, latched onto my mother and for a long time, we thought it was just a casual relationship until we realized this guy was a drunk, would spend my mothers check, crashed her car and eventually my mother lost her housing over him. She'd lived there 11 years and after so many events due to HIS behavior, plus she had begun drinking, she was homeless. At that point, it was becoming more noticable that she was having memory problems, but I didn't know if it was from the drinking so I began trying to get her to the doctor among other things to try to separate her LIFE from this parasite of a man. He didn't want to let go and neither did she, so I had to "play a game" to outsmart him. I've left out a lot of details but basically I had to have her checks redirected to my address, close her bank account, then remove her out of that situation by saying we were just going to be spending the weekend together, then 3 days later, I went back and kicked his ragged a** out of her apartment. I also told the manager to ask him to leave if she saw him on the premises - that he had been taking advantage and abusing my mother. We then had to go back and clean everything out of the apartment, put my mothers things in storage and a new phase of her life had started. Get on the stick...it's not easy to do this, but you CAN do it, I believe in you!
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303Blanks,
How long have you had Mil in your home?

I am all for what is best for the elder, and not upsetting her is important to her health. It is very good you are distracting her-the OCD must be treated.
Have her old pharmacy transfer the Rx. to the new pharmacy. Some may be refillable without a doctor's new order. Then phone the former doctor's office and request refills to last until you can find a new M.D. in your area.
Doing that, you will discover at least: "Last refill", and, the doctor's office may say "No refills" because she hasn't been to see the doctor since....and then you will have the information you seek.  Mil should/could be near the phone, giving you permission to know.  Say,  "Come on Mom, let's sit here and get your Rx refilled".  If Mil won't cooperate, if the pharmacy won't help or give you info,
(because of Hippa Laws),  then say you are calling to report prescription drug diversion on all of her prescriptions.  This will help stop the criminales.
By doing this, you will also give/get a heads up for any "prescription drug diversion" committed by the criminals, an arrestable offense.
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ff, You are exactly right! But everyone here kept very silent, the home was resold.
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If there are any cars left on the property, have them towed. 

How, you ask? 1) This car's plates are expired, oh, and BTW won't match the vehicle, ha ha ha!  2) This car no longer has any plates and was abandoned here. 3) This car was stolen. 4) This car was used in a crime. 5) This car has a huge amount of illegal drugs being stored under the passenger's seat, accessible from behind. 6) This car is no longer operational, has 3 flat tires (at least they are now) and one tire is missing; and therefore illegal to abandon on private property. 7) This car has a horrific odor emanating from the trunk, with a reddish brown fluid dripping out from underneath.
8)  This car has a huge dent, (yeah, it does now); and is a blight on the neighborhood.  9)  This car has been tagged by the city for infractions.
10)  This is my ex-boyfriend's car and he failed to come pick it up.
Do you have any tough guy friends left in the neighborhood?  Sissies, don't try this at home-this advice is not for Sissies!
omg....you are all going to wonder how I come up with this.
Note:   7 out of ten car problems are under your control!
 Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs!
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303Blanks, this information is for you and anyone else who's elders might be in a similar situation.

When the time comes to sell the house, some States have laws that the Seller must disclose to the Buyer that the home was a former meth lab. If the new home owners can prove that the Seller or the Seller's representative knew about this, but failed to disclose, there could be a lawsuit :(
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I think it's a home invasion but apparently the police do not. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. This seems absolutely crazy that the person who owns the home has to go through all of this just to get some ne'er do wells out of the home. Where is the justice? Glad you are here - great advice from everyone!
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Question: Does anyone know if homeowner's insurance pays victims of crimes? Should a claim be filed (early, upon discovery) with the insurance company?
I have read that the insurance policy is cancelled? if the insured no longer lives there?
Blank 303, was a police report filed, you have the copy?

I wonder if this should be called a home invasion?
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Change her address on the property tax bill. Call her county tax assessor personally, find out if tax bill is defaulted, and is it still in her name?
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Obtain a credit report from the 3 largest credit reporting agencies.
Change her address with them.
Put a credit fraud alert/freeze on her reports. Lasts 90 days, is free.
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303 Blanks - Ongoing Prayers for you all. I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. Thanks for sharing this information. A true lesson in the hardships that can occur with the elderly. You have done a great job. I hope an attorney will take your case probono and this gets resolved ASAP.
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Thank you Rain Mom, Im sorry , I also didnt mean to be defensive, just in a complete place of loss thats all :-)

We plan on getting the Eviction process rolling this week as it has taken some saving on our part to be able to financially be able to do that and make sure she is suitably cared for and trying to get back above water after A LOT of unexpected costs incurred with the cross country move and time in between :-(

I will definitely update as we make progress.

Thank you all. (sendhelp i very much appreciate all of your input too )
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I'm am sorry, really. I wanted to say so earlier but was afraid if you saw another reply from me you wouldn't come back.

It it makes any sense- I am not judging you, although it certainly is understandable that it feels that way given my heavy handed replies. I AM sorry. I know how difficult it can be to pick up the pieces of the mess an elderly loved one with cognitive decline can make of their life.

My problem is nothing - and I mean nothing get my panties is a huge twist than someone taking advantage of - stealing and bullying- someone from the most vulnerable people in our society- the aged and the disabled. It makes me out of my mind crazy - as you can see.

You have a huge, daunting plate full of a mess to sort out and deal with. You need support and help - not someone throwing gas on the fire, running around, waving their hands saying "OMG! You've got a mess!" My bad.

You've done the right and most important thing by getting your MIL out of a truely dangerous situation. And although I certainly phased it poorly, I still urge you to make the eviction the next priority. The liability continuing to have those people living on property owned by your MIL is huge with the potential to expand exponentially.

Please keep posting as you begin to tackle the challenges ahead of you. There is tons of good advice to be had by the wonderful, experienced people who participate on this forum. And I promise - no more hysteria from me. Only helpful advice.
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I had to evict a person who was living in my mother's house without a lease but with tenant rights due to how long he had been there. OK, it was my brother so not the same situation but under the law it was the same.

Every state is different but, in Maryland, this is one of the few landlord tenant actions that cannot be handled by POA so I had to hire an attorney. None of it was beyond my abilities but I legally could not file.

So, even with the expense of a lawyer it was still relatively cheap. My court filing fees, lawyer fees and Sheriff fees were around $500.

Being out of state will hamper you a little but it is not an insurmountable challenge. I would look for a residential property manager to help you with this because as soon as they are evicted, you will want to have the locks changed and then have someone keep en eye on the property while you figure out what you are going to do with it.

It also sounds like you are going to have to get her declared incompetent and file for guardianship. You need to start this and the eviction as soon as you can because neither one is an overnight process.

Good for you for getting her to safety.
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OK Rain mom, I understand your valid points but you are also not in our situation... so please dont judge , seeing advise not judgement!!

as for your earlier response we were in Tampa for 2 weeks where we had already removed her from this place she called home and she was staying with my parents about an hour away, let me tell you it is not a home anymore, there was a guy rolling around with a needle in his arm in my husbands childhood bedrooom, she didnt even know his name (he just stays there sometimes... she said!!!!) they have sold /pawned anything worth anything including multiple devices we had purchased for her to stay in touch with us. any thing of any value has been sold for drug money and whatever else. even her fridge was taken apart and any metal or glass sold.

We contacted law enforcement in fl upon our arrival honestly seeking advise on how to handle the situation, we were told by TPD that they would not escort or assist us as these people had tenant rights because they have been there so long ,they even went as far as to say that we had to go in calmly and not be threatening toward them when we visited the house when we informed TPD that we were going into an unknown scenario where we have no clue what these people are capable of or if they were armed etc... we were told at that point if threats were made then they could be called upon to help... i realise that this seems unbelievable but this is what we were faced with!!
at that point i took my father and my husband and we went to the home and recovered whatever was left of her belongings and her kitty and got her to the safety of my parents house.
yes it was her vehicle we drove from FL-CO and we are currently paying the insurance and note on that as well! These unwanted guests were indeed using the vehicle for illegal activities and the car did incur damage because of this!

With all of her payments being past due on EVERYTHING we are trying to priorize and manage this but also are very aware that the eviction process is top of that list, its also not cheap! when we met with the people who have very much outstayed their welcome she is a little elderly woman also but obviously has some issues and dependencies on drugs/pills but her son seems to be the ringleader and this whole time we did not encounter him as i believe he knew we were in town and kept away from the property any time we were there. there are people coming and going from the house many times a day. i realise this all sounds very crazy and i feel the same except we are living it! i also realise that we probably could/should have done more with our time in FL but my husband was absolutely broken to see his mother and family home like this and quickly wanted to rescue his mom and we have been taking each day as they come... again i know this is not neccessarily productive but watching my husband this broken is so hard i'm just along for the ride trying to keep mom happy and healthy.

Again i stress that this situation is not your typical but i came here seeking help not to be judged so please b e kind....
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As far as mental state, you may need to force some issues, call 911 for the necessary psychiatric evaluation.

You were right to get her to safety first. If that was all you could do, that part was good. Then, there is APS in your area. She is a victim of crime.
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It is called pennywise, pound foolish.
303Blanks,
Has it yet occured to you that although Mil is a victim, she is complicit in criminal acts?  And by allowing her to hide facts, attempt to refinance her home, omg....how could she do that in her condition?   That these criminals still have their hooks into her...by phone, and now by using your cell phone?  And you are AFRAID to broach the subject with her?  She is uncooperative with you?

When in Florida, did you obtain the i.d. and license plates of the criminals?
They can be picked up on outstanding warrants!  Can your dear friend who notified you help?  Get license plates.

Does your Mil have TBI, a traumatic brain injury?

Please, be brave, come back for more advice, and a healthy dose of caring, even if in the form of shock and awe.  Your story, the circumstances, are believable by me, but I cannot help you without the wisdom of other forum members.

You may feel judged, and it would be impossible to provide the entire story.  But please, come back anyway.  Your situation is urgent.
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I guess, send. Still, while eviction might cost a bit it's not all that expensive- at least not in the area where I live. And not in comparison to the potential lose this situation could incur - starting with personal possessions, the house and any equity it may have and all the way up through personal injury lawsuits and identity theft.

I've not lead a sheltered life - and it's not that the squatting thing occurred - it's the lack of taking action I don't get - sorry to the post originator - but...
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Rainmom,
Similar happened to my neighbors. The daughter was mentally ill, and an addict, the elderly mother was afraid.  It is criminal.
She told me that she did not know what to do. Other family moved the mother to safety, the addict brought in meth addicts, cooked meth odor throughout the neighborhood, over two years later the daughter was arrested, the house was lost to a foreclosure--because no one spoke up early or took action-the neighbors lived under threats for over four years, everyone saying, nothing can be done.

You are not a b*tch Rainmom, just a small voice of early warning that no one will listen to.  Incredulous, isn't it?  It happens.
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Okay - I'm back. I just can't wrap my head around the situation you're discribing. There has to be more to the story - something you're leaving out? Cause if not this has to be one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard. Not so much your MIL allowing two strangers off the street to move in and live with her - I've come to realize an elder with dementia is capable of almost anything. No, it's your packing mom up and going back to Colorado without having started eviction proceedings.

What about all your MILs personal belongings - were they left behind? Possibly to be sold off by the squatters. Or did you meet the squatters as you packed mom up? What on earth could you have said to them as you drove away?

Next - do you have any idea the liability you have opened up as far as your MIL home owners insurance goes? If the house burned down or God forbid a squatter injures themselves while in the house - I can only imagine the field day the insurance agent would have coming up with multiple reasons why your MILs insurance was invalidated.

Honestly, I'm sorry for sounding like such a b*tch here - but really? Is it just me, or is this not one of the strangest situations you've ever heard of?
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Have the house draped and fumigated. A legal maneuver so the occupants must be gone.....
Notice of increased rent, effective 30 days.....
3 day notice to pay rent or quit.....
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Do everything (everything) usually advised that a victim of identity theft must do. Follow that online. Do it now.
1) Forward her mail to a new address (not yours) at a paid mailbox near you. Key is for only you to pick up her mail. Pick MAIL FORWARD for the longest term. Today, online if you must.
2) Take her NOW, to the nearest Social Security Office, who will assign you to be her Representative Payee, to receive her benefits and manage her funds.
You won't have to say much, or even explain much to SS or to your Mil.
Obtain a rep-payee pamphlett on your way out. That address goes to your home, ok?
3) Many Social Security recipients receive funds on the 3rd (or sooner) of each month. Take Mil to the bank branch she banks with. Obtain all bank statements at that time. She must be with you. Soc. Sec. will have printed a letter to you assigning you as rep-payee.
4) Report fraud suspected on the account to the bank's security department-give them your contact info.
5) Open a new account, at another bank, Your name, for Mil name.

I am going to have to stop now. Will stop by later to check on your progress.
Sorry, but it is just not likely that anyone will take charge, follow through, and I am not an attorney or a security expert. You have lots to do on your own. Fact is, that families get very STUCK in the discovery phase, not taking any action at all, not knowing what to do.

Imo, the sooner her funds and accounts are secure, the sooner you can address the tight living quarters.

You might be pleasantly surprised at how much power a rep-payee has.
Your husband can receive her power of attorney later, when she feels more cooperative and trusting. Maybe if you act fast enough, you can save her home from being fraudulently stolen out from under her.
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It is unfortunate that your Mil has been intimidated, blackmailed, and drugged by criminals. I don't think you are up for it financially, but a conservatorship sounds right to me.
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I'm having a hard time right off the bat with your approach to dealing with the house. You seem to be accepting of just allowing these people to stay. Does your MIL own the house? If so - get on with evicting them before the house is trashed and/or they start moving in their own friends and family. I'm mean seriously- is your mom paying the utilities and insurance? This whole situation is mind boggling to me - that you seem resigned to allowing it to continue. For one thing - it might be a good idea to sell the house to help with MILs bills or even helping pay some of her expenses while she is with you.

As for the driving - did you move her car with her? Or heaven forbid - the guests from h*ll are driving it back in Florida? I don't know which is worse. Anyhoo - if she doesn't have her own car simply tell her your insurance won't cover her to drive yours - plus you need it for you - and don't give her your car keys. Period.

Getting her to a doctor. I'm assuming MIL has either Medicaid or Medicare. Tell her for her medical coverage to be valid in Colorado she has to register with a doctor there. If she says she doesn't need one - explain that if she were in an accident or developed an illness the potential medical bills could bankrupt your family - unless she gets "registered" and that's not a risk your willing to take. Sure, it's not exactly being truthful but if it does the job and gets her in to see a doctor, so what.

Honestly, you just gotta grab the bull by the horns and jump in somewhere - do something - anything. I applaud you for getting MIL into a more supervised home setting but you seem to have stalled out after that point. Wouldn't it be great if things magically took care of themselves? But they don't.
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Gosh. This almost seems unbelievable, doesn't it? It was HER home! I hope others on this forum can give you some direction. MIL is fortunate to have you two.
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Mother in Law is 75 there was no proof of cooking there but ingredients in home suggest otherwise.
whilst we were there in Tampa , Local law inforcement seemed less than helpful we called them to explain the situation and there response was how to evict legally and urged us to start that soon otherwise if something bad happened (one of these junkies was to OD) M.I.L would be held liable for this!
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Wow! That's a lot to deal with. May I ask how old MIL is? If she's a senior, I would imagine this could be considered elder abuse.

Can't you report the illegal activity (meth cooking) to the local authorities?

I found an article online about getting unwanted guests out of the house and here is a quote "So what can you do to take back your home? If the guest won't leave when asked, you can file an "unlawful detainer" at the local courthouse. This puts the situation in front of a judge, who can issue an order for the guest to leave. Then law enforcement will escort the guest off the property. Tampa attorney John McMillan said he's never seen a case in which the judge didn't side with the homeowner. But be prepared to wait. "It doesn't always happen quickly,".
This might be a place to start? I am sure others on here will have some great advice.
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