Local News


SQUATTER SPOTTERS: Homeowner offers squatters $1,000 to leave

Posted at 9:25 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 11:11:53-05
Debbie Marks needs to sell her house so she can pay for her husband’s kidney surgery. But she can’t.
That’s because squatters have moved in. And now she has made a desperate offer as she fights to get her home back. 
She tried to offer the intruders $1,000 just so she get back her own home. It's an offer she hopes they won't refuse.
"I'm offering you $1,000 to leave my house," Marks says.
Marks moved out of the house on Burnham Avenue last June. Squatters moved in to her home early last month.
"Anybody could just break in your house and take over your memories," says Marks.
She filed a complaint against a woman named Betina Merkson on Jan. 15, then an eviction notice on Jan. 25.
But Marks told 13 Action News they filed their own legal action to stay.
“This is a travesty that this could be going on in the United States of America," she says.
Marks decided to take matters into her own hands and went to the house herself. Cardboard now covers a broken front window, a blanket hangs from the frame of what used to be her son's bedroom and old clothes and blankets are piled up on top of furniture.
"They destroyed my house! They destroyed my little house! Oh my god!" she cries.
Marks wants to sell her home so she can raise $20,000 to help cover costs around her husband's kidney surgery. But she worries: who will buy a house with squatters inside?
“I don't think I'm going to come back because I fear for my life," she asks.
Marks told 13 Action News a judge will review the case on Friday.