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Snakes Force Family From Home, Into Bankruptcy

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An picture Cynthia Beaver took of the snakes (credit: Cynthia Beaver)

An picture Cynthia Beaver took of the snakes (credit: Cynthia Beaver)

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MAYBELL, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado family has moved out of their house after discovering hundreds of snakes living inside. Their home was in the town of Maybell in northwestern Colorado. Now a bankruptcy court may sue the previous owner and real estate agent for failure to disclose the snakes were there.

It looked like a gem — four bedrooms, four baths. But once Cynthia Beaver and her family moved in they discovered the snakes.

“A friend was babysitting our animals and she said, ‘I don’t want to alarm you but there’s a snake back there.’ And then pretty soon there was just hundreds of them,” Beaver said.

Beaver took pictures of them and tried to get rid of them, without any luck. The snakes apparently decided they were there first and weren’t leaving.

“So you’d look back here and there are snakes with their heads sticking out between the siding with their tongues flicking in and out,” she said. “It was way nasty.”

The family quickly made a decision — if the snakes weren’t leaving, they were.

“You expected them to just drop from the ceiling. It was just a nasty feeling. You couldn’t go in the cereal boxes because we were afraid, ‘What if there was a snake in there?”

The dispute over the snakes has gotten a bit nasty as well. The Beaver family claims the real estate agent who sold them the house failed to mention anything about snakes at the closing after being asked about such a rumor. That salesperson insisted she had no knowledge of snakes from previous owners and pointed out the Beaver family chose not to have a professional home inspection done.

“We had to file for bankruptcy to get rid of the house – we lost all of our credit, everything.”

Now the house is for sale as a bank foreclosure. CBS4 obtained the listing brochure which simply says “As Is.” CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger called the new agent who was selling it. He asked the agent if she was aware of any prior history of problems. She said years ago previous owners stated there had been some snakes, but she hasn’t seen any and it has been remedied.

Such a problem is not unheard of. The Animal Planet channel did a story about a family in Idaho. Their yard was infested with garter snakes. They also left their home and filed for bankruptcy.

A lawsuit is in the works over the Maybell home. The previous owner of the house told CBS4 he was not aware of any snakes when he sold the house. He did not want to say more because a lawsuit is expected to be filed by the bankruptcy trustee over whether the issue of snakes should have been disclosed.

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