During the Great Recession
During the Great Recession, home foreclosures hit an all-time high. In many instances, banks ended up as property managers, a job for which they were ill-prepared. As a result, many homes were abandoned for long periods. Some people who knew a little bit about adverse possession decided to take advantage: They shamelessly occupied vacant homes, claiming them as their own, changing locks, purchasing electricity—and waiting for the statutory period to pass. The new residents argued that they were not hurting anyone and acting within the bounds of the law. Examine the squatters’ ethics. What do you think of their behavior? Does your opinion vary if the squatters were the home’s former owners? What if the banks were ignoring the home? What would Kant and Mill say?
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