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Real estate mogul concerned how Americans with deal will squatters: ‘Something really bad is going to happen’

Shawn Meaike, an entrepreneur who started his journey to generational wealth with investment properties, is concerned how Americans will handle squatting issues as they grow desperate.

Real estate mogul Shawn Meaike is concerned how hard-working, well-intentioned Americans will handle squatting issues as they grow more and more desperate.

"People are going to start taking matters into their own hands. That’s what we do when there is lawlessness," Meaike told Fox News Digital

"Something really bad is going to happen," he said. "Am I saying this right thing to do? No, I'm not."

Squatting, whereby strangers move into the properties of American homeowners and refuse to leave, has quickly become part of the zeitgeist as a series of news-making stories have shocked the nation. 

HOW CAN HOMEOWNERS PREVENT SQUATTERS? EXPERTS SHARE ‘VITAL’ TIPS FOR DEFENDING YOUR HOME

Squatters can gain certain legal rights under specific conditions, such as continuous occupation for a defined period, typically ranging from 5 to 20 years, depending on the state. In some states where laws make it difficult for police to intervene, including New York, homeowners and landlords are left with few options to reclaim their property. Many victims are forced to submit to costly and lengthy civil processes. 

"They bought a property. They believe in the American dream. They wanted to get ahead. And the American dream became the American nightmare because somebody took what was theirs and the law was on the criminal’s side. It's a scary place to be," Meaike said. 

Meaike, who went on to build fruitful business in waste management and life insurance after thriving in real estate, said that he began investing rental properties in his early 20s as a way to add additional income. He eventually accumulated hundreds of properties, launching him into a successful career as a serial entrepreneur who has earned generational wealth. But nowadays, when people have the ability to break into a rental property and law enforcement isn’t able to help, it’s much more difficult to rely on an investment property. 

"How many amazing Middle American families decided to pull together $40,000, put it as a down payment on two or three family home, and then somebody who doesn't have any regard for any other human being breaks in and lives there," Meaike said. "Now, what's going to start happening?" 

He suspects that victims are already starting to get desperate as police offers in liberal-run states aren’t able to help. 

"There's zero doubt that somebody right now is at their wit's end. They are now not be able to pay the college tuition for their kid, they’re dipping in their retirement. They're going broke, and they're getting emotional," he said. 

HERE’S HOW HOMEOWNERS CAN FIGHT AGAINST SQUATTER INSANITY

Meaike, who hosts the "Close & Conquer" podcast, doesn’t want to hear anyone claiming squatters are protected because of adverse possession, either.  

"When I got my real estate license, I remember researching that. I remember studying it. That's not for you to break into homes," he said, explaining that adverse possession is typically used to resolve minor disputes between neighbors. 

"It wasn't for me to come down to 214 Main Street, kick the door in, break in, break the window, sit in there and go, ‘Haha, screw you, I live here,’" Meakike said. 

"I can't imagine had I bought my properties back then, and people moved in illegally, what that would have done to me financially. And I think there's a lot of really good people that are getting hurt, they’re getting screwed," he continued. "And, we're supposed to be providing and protecting those that are abiding by the law, not those that are violating the law, and we're doing quite the opposite nowadays."

FLORIDA SHERIFF WARNS SQUATTERS HE WILL BE THEIR 'WORST ENEMY' AND HAS A PLACE FOR THEM IN JAIL

Some states have attempted to quell the chaos. Several high-profile stories involving squatters prompted Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign legislation into law that eliminates squatters' rights and increases penalties against offenders.

Meakike began his journey in Connecticut and is thankful that he now does business in the Sunshine State. 

"It's only going to get worse because people are emboldened to go ahead and take something that's not theirs," he said. "I reside in the state of Florida, our laws are different. You can't do certain things here. Would I buy a property in any of the states that had all these squatters’ rights? Absolutely not. I'm a businessman."

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Fox News Digital’s Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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