Evicted family breaks locks, reclaims home

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. A family claims they were illegally evicted, and Saturday, they broke the locks and started moving back in even though the home has already been sold.

Jim and Danielle Earl, along with their nine children ranging in age from 3 to 23, returned to their house of nine years on Mustang Drive.

The family was evicted from their home in July after they fell behind on payments.

Their bank, GRP Financial Services, foreclosed on the home, but since then the house has been bought by an investor, remodeled and sold to someone else.

The new owners were expected to take possession of the home in a few days, but the Earls and their attorney hired a locksmith to open the doors so they could reclaim the house.

"This is a really exciting day, a day we've been waiting for," said Danielle Earl. "My kids have been begging to go home and we're finally home.

This comes at a time when some banks are halting foreclosures across the country due to flawed paperwork. The family and their attorney said the bank used fraudulent paperwork to force them out.

The Earls said they had been working with the bank to catch up on payments, but discovered a $25,000 difference between the amount they thought they owed and what the bank claimed they owed so they stopped making payments.

"This is only the beginning of this," said the Earl's attorney, Michael Pines. "I chose this family because we needed to get back in before the investor and the real estate broker defrauded a new family by having them move in, which would have created a bigger mess. (The Earls) have done absolutely nothing wrong."

Police arrived at the home Saturday but did not take action to make the family leave.

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