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New homeowner kicked out of house for 19 months after woman claimed she’s rightful owner

Josue Ortega spent nearly two years trying to evict a woman who managed to stay in the home while he paid the mortgage.

Jeremy Jojola

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Published: 7:20 PM MDT October 29, 2020
Updated: 10:25 PM MDT October 29, 2020

A woman was able to move into a Denver home she didn't own and take possession of it, kicking out the real homeowner and leaving him to pay the mortgage and other bills for 19 months. 

This 9Wants to Know investigation covers multiple courtrooms, countless legal filings, several eviction attempts and a visit to a hospital ICU.

It started on a cold March day in 2019. While Josue Ortega was cleaning his new home, a stranger unexpectedly showed up with a police officer and a copy of a deed claiming she was the rightful owner of the house. 

“I didn’t have any idea who she was,” Ortega said. “I just bought my house but I didn’t have my papers with me because I was cleaning.”

Police records obtained by 9Wants to Know show Gloria Cannady showed up to the property 12 days after closing with a Denver Police officer and “provided a hard copy deed to the house with proof of ownership”. A follow-up police report indicates the officer sided with Cannady and Ortega was “asked to leave as he had no paperwork.” 

The incident kicked off an intense and expensive legal battle over the house that lasted for 19 months.  

“We went with the police two or three times and they always said the same thing: ‘We can not do anything,’” Ortega said of the ordeal. “Why did they kick me out? I don’t know.” 

Online property records show Ortega successfully closed on the property in the 600 block of Fulton on March 15 for $410,000. 

Credit: Courtesy Josue Ortega
Josue Ortega with closing documents for a home he purchased in Denver.
Credit: 9Wants to Know
Gloria Cannady.

Kristina Bergsten, an attorney and friend of Ortega’s, took a look at the case. 

She characterized it as “a tangled web of nonsense” and “complete confusion of utter chaos.” 

“Honestly for me the initial failure comes from the initial contact on March 27, [2019] from the Denver Police officer. Ms. Cannady didn’t have any court order, as far as we know,” Bergsten said in an interview with 9NEWS. 

9Wants to Know found Cannady has filed a flurry of legal motions regarding the home in several different cases that span from county court to bankruptcy court.