Squatters slowing Detroit's recovery, real estate broker working to stop problem

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A real estate broker is stepping forward to address Detroit's squatting problem. 

Kent Colpaert is the principal broker with the firm Bearing Group. 

He believes squatters and illegal scrappers are holding the Motor City's recovery effort back.

Colpaert's company represents banks in southeast Michigan and they work to get properties back on the market as fast as possible. 

Too many times, they find people living illegally in the bank owned properties. 

Some are victims of renting scams, but many are people taking advantage of the system. 

Getting a squatter removed is not considered a police matter, but a tenant/landlord issue which needs to be resolved through the court system. 

Getting them out can take months.

While squatters are living in the home, most times the property is not being properly cared for. As it declines, property values in the neighborhood dive, slowing Detroit's recovery.

A measure is making its way through Lansing to change the laws regarding squatters, but it has stalled in the state senate.

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