Some of you asked for an update on the story we ran a couple of weeks ago about Philadelphia homeowner Melissa Frost’s struggle to get rid of a violent squatter from her property. A day after our article ran, the Philadelphia City Paper also ran a piece on the case, and identified the man as Jamison Bachman. In the piece, Bachman explained his tactic of having Melissa file charges against him, incurring the filing costs, which then allowed him to file countersuits for free. He also openly admitted that even if a judge were to issue a judgement requiring he pay Frost in damages, “I don’t have any assets in Pennsylvania, so if I decide that I don’t want to pay that judgment, she has to try to come after me. It becomes so expensive for her.
Frost now reports that after two months of living in her house rent- and utilities-free, Bachman has vacated the premises. Not without leaving a mess behind, of course … Would you like to see what a toilet full of cat poop looks like? I thought so…
In addition to the cat poop and human poop Bachman left, he also kicked in a door and broke a few of Frost’s frames. Frost will also have to pay for the damages caused to her house because the plumbing and heating system froze when she turned the gas off in January.
Even so, Frost is thankful that “no major damage (sans plumbing repercussions) was done. There’s mostly just jerk-mess to clean up.” And Frost is hoping to personally thank some of the people who have supported her. “Once the house is up to temperature, I want to have a clean up if only for the excuse to order some pizza, burn last summer’s sage stockpile and restore the good house vibes with friends and new friends.”
Thanks to donations from friends and strangers, Frost’s raised $1,800, which will cover “filing fees, lawyer fees and court costs for both the eviction and writ of possession process COMPLETELY with some money left to go towards covering his use of the utilities. Two months alone in a seven bedroom house with everything running full speed equals just over $2,000 in utility bills!” says Frost. “Stacking all that, additional costs and lost rent, this has been so financially catastrophic in a way that can have rippling and lasting repercussions. What the donations actually do is relieve stress, anxiety and strain. They help me move on! I am all about moving on.”
The lesson from all of this (besides the obvious)? Trust your gut. And don’t be ashamed to reach out for help when you need it. “The moral support and well wishes have been so key. I would not have been able to take this guy on and bounce back without the support of my friends and the kindness of strangers,” says Frost. “I was really hesitant to even tell friends when the situation was getting intense, because I felt stupid. Because it’s embarrassing to have bad things happen to you. Because it’s easy to look at the past and say ‘WTF?! & endless shoulda/woulda/couldas. There is not one mean thing an anonymous person on the Internet has said about this that I did not severely beat myself with during so many sleepless nights from the end of November until I let friends know and in turn, help me take this guy on.”