Maryland woman turns to 7 On Your Side for help evicting squatters from her property.



shannonFORT WASHINGTON, Md. (WJLA) ­­ A Prince George’s County woman fed up with squatters in her house has turned to 7 On Your Side for help. She has an order from a judge to have the squatters removed, but they’re still there.

“I don’t know how many people are in there. I don’t know how damaged the property is.” Marrissa Phipps has a problem she never thought she’d have.

“They’re living there, squatting in that house, for six months,” bemoaned Phipps.

Back in November, new renters moved into her Fort Washington house. But she says they haven’t paid rent in six months. In March, she filed to have them evicted ­ a judge signed it. But the sheriff’s office has yet to remove them.

7 On Your Side tried to speak with the person inside the home. “I’m not talking on the news about any of this,” a voice on the other side of the door said.

The woman wouldn’t speak to us, but she did call the police – even though we left the property.

“We understand that people are frustrated.” Mark Spencer, the Inspector General for the sheriff’s office, admits the process is long. But, it’s not as long as it used to be.

Five years ago, it took the county upwards of 12 weeks to evict a squatter after a court order was signed. Now it’s down to 4­6 weeks, which is on par with similar sized counties, like Montgomery.

“It’s a significant issue for so many of our people. I’m pretty confident she’ll have an eviction sometime in mid­May,” stated Spencer.

While May 20 is only two weeks away, for Phipps, it’s just too long.

“The process is broken. Squatters can live for free. And all I can do is sit here,” concluded Phipps.

After ABC 7 spoke to the sheriff’s office, Phipps learned that she did get an eviction date. On May 20, at 9:00 in the morning, she should get her house back.