Family about to close escrow, someone else moves in

Posted at 4:45 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 20:09:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A group of people moved into a North County home and say they don’t plan on leaving unless the court tells them to.

The problem is that the bank servicing the loan says they don’t have permission to be there.

According to people in the neighborhood, the house was a foreclosure and empty.

The woman who moved in told Team 10 she blamed the situation on the bank and went as far as to put up fliers to neighbors reading, “There is a civil action pending in court in regards to true ownership of the property going through legal channels.”

Julie Frisino is living at the San Marcos house, but she’s not a renter, and she’s not the owner.

Team 10 investigator Adam Racusin asked Frisino how long she’s going to stay at the house.

“We have a court date,” Frisino responded.

While Frisino waits for the legal system to play out, someone else was hoping to already be in the house.

“We found a property that sort of satisfied all the criteria that we put together,” said John Masnica.

Masnica was hoping to move his family in last month.

He and his wife have three kids, a fourth on the way.

For him, the house was the perfect location and perfect price.

The only problem was that Frisino moved into the vacant house about a month before Masnica could close escrow.

“Someone is living in what’s supposed to be our house,” he said.

Masnica told Team 10 the house is a foreclosure. The bank put it on the market late last year and accepted his offer to buy it in November. 

He says it took a few months to work out all of the details, such as who would take care of some small construction repairs.

He thought things would be wrapped up by April.

"The listing agent went over there with a contractor to begin the work when they realized squatters had taken possession of the property,” Masnica said.

According to Masnica, while the house was sitting empty, Frisino moved in.

She started living there and filed a legal action against the bank, and what looks like the original owners and others.

It claims in part, “Prior to 2017, said predecessors in interest, intentionally, willfully and permanently, abandoned their title and possession of subject property by permanently vacating subject premises and relinquishing all rights, title and interest in and to subject property.”

It later states, “Plaintiffs allege that the act of permanent abandonment of subject property by the original owner and the subsequent act of actual physical possession of said premises by plaintiffs, results in a transfer of the ownership interest in, and the title and possession to, subject property to the plaintiffs.”

Masnica says he couldn’t believe it.

“My wife and I, we pay our taxes, we do our thing, we’re just trying to raise our children,” he said. “I mean it really is shocking that people can just go in and take over a house.”

Masnica wasn’t the only one with questions. Other people on the street also asked us to help get answers.

When 10News knocked on the door, a woman answered and identified herself as Julie Frisino. At first, she didn’t want to answer our questions, but eventually started telling her side of the story, until she’d had enough.

But that wasn’t the end of our conversation. 

A few minutes later she came out from the house to talk some more, blaming the situation on the bank.

“We do have a lawsuit in regards to how the house was securitized,” she said.

Investigator Adam Racusin asked her what she means.

According to court records, this isn’t the first time Frisino’s had a problem paying for where she’s lived.

Documents show a handful of unlawful detainer cases, which are basically eviction lawsuits. The most recent filed just last year.

One of those landlords told Team 10 that Frisino paid for a couple of months and then the rent stopped, and excuses started.

Frisino chalked the eviction stuff up to circumstances in life, but says it’s different than what’s happening now.

Frisino told Team 10 she’s acting within the law and if the court tells her to leave she will.

Frisino stopped talking to Team 10 when she got a phone call from someone she identified as her attorney.

Team 10 discovered Citi services the loan for U.S. Bank, which is the trustee for the mortgage-backed security. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Citi wrote, “This matter is in litigation, so we will decline to provide specifics. Anyone currently residing in the property does not have permission to be there. We intend to have any unauthorized inhabitants removed from the premises as soon as possible.”