Sunday, August 14, 2022

Scam

 A recent ad on a local facebook site caught my attention. A woman was advertising a house for $1250. A big one, on the corner about 4 blocks from where I live. I was interested because there was no 'For Sale' sign in front of the house. She also was not listed as the owner of the house on the assessment site. 

The ad went on to read that it was an excellent opportunity for someone to own an old house at a fraction of the price. It warned that a substantial downpayment would be required and that the purchaser would need to submit a list of the necessary repairs and a schedule of when they needed to be complete. 

It didn't make sense for a number of reasons:

Number one: the house is a duplex. You weren't owning a house, you were owning part of a house. 

Number two: if the house is selling for $1250, what is considered to be a substantial down payment on that?

Number three: If the house is being sold, then why does the seller need a timeline of repairs? It was not her business what happened after the sale of the property. 

Now, I have a wide streak of curious, so I had to ask. I messaged the seller with my questions. All of them. She answered with: "Do you have enough money for the down payment?"

"Of course" I typed. "What is the down payment on a $1250 house though?"

She explained, "The house is $1250 a month." (The ad did not mention this, so my curious streak continued unabated.) 

She said that it was seller financed, and that the monthly payment included taxes, insurance, interest, etc. The total price paid would be about 9 times the $1250 price she listed.

I said, "Well, that's very unusual. Every house I ever bought, the buyer arranged financing."

She was starting to get snippy. She told me that they had helped many people into home ownership in my area, and that she thought I was rude. I told her that as a potential buyer, I was entitled to ask questions, to do my due diligence. In my opinion, she was being pretty rude herself. 

I said, "What agency do you represent?"

She refused to answer. 

Facebook is a veritable font of information, so I did some checking on her facebook page. She had taken a class by FortuneBuilders. Basically, you can't find a lot of information on it on line, it is all very hush hush, but what I could glean from the BBB site was that it was a scam company. This woman wanted a large sum of money from the 'buyer'. She was charging an exorbitant monthly rent (note that our highest rent is $750 per month, but that is because the utilities are included in those two apartments.) The 'buyer' would be responsible for doing the repairs on the property, but if they fell behind in repairs, or the 'seller' was dissatisfied with the work, she could take the house back for a violation in the 'sales' agreement. It was referred to as a 'remote renovation business'. 

I said, "We buy our houses in cash." 

All conversation stopped there. 

I went back to her ad and warned everyone. Basically, this woman had just bought 1/2 a duplex so recently that the deed had not been recorded. What she was doing was charging someone a huge sum of money to fix her house up for her. The buyer would never own the house. 

How is this even legal? 

25 comments:

  1. It's not, but I'll bet she finds a gullible person to take her up on it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not sure that whole transaction is even possible here!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't imagine it IS legal. Surely it's fraud. I suppose the challenge would be to prove her intent to defraud, rather than simply enforce a sales agreement. She must be banking on her eventual victim never taking the case to court.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so. I mean, she claimed that they'd helped many people in my area into homeownership, but let's be honest here. $1250 rent is out of reach of any poor person I know. There's also the matter of the "substantial down payment". She's not going to be suckering poor people in for sure. Anyone that has that much to spend on rent will simply buy a house through more conventional programs.

      Delete
  4. Oh my gosh! Good for you, Debby. I hope everyone will heed your warning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate people who rip off (or try to rip off) people for their own gain.

      Delete
  5. If it sounds to good to be true .... Hopefully no one will fall for this but I doubt it. Tough times make people more gullible - or desperate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The price is confusing to me. She's from the city of Erie, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from here. I think she was looking at city rent. We are a small town. People do not have that kind of money. If they do, they're well off. If they're well off they're going to balk at signing a paper that has you fixing a house up that is not in your name.

      Delete
  6. It's probaby legal but it's trashy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good for you Debby. Most of us sniff a crook, grumble and move on. You gave this shyster something to think about! 🙂👍👍

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, I doubt that. She blocked me, but my comments had been on her site, so hopefully word got around. I hate shysters.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope others see through it just as you did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first mistake she made was pricing the house out of possibility for nearly everyone that would be desperate enough to fall for a scheme like that.

      Delete
  10. Hi Debby, send me a pic of the quilts, maybe I could do something.
    unicornspixiedustatgmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thing is that they are just tatters. I don't see how anything could be done with them unless they were completely taken apart. They are not 'artsy' quilts. They are just practical heavy quilts made out of very heavy material. As awful as it sounds, I don't care about them. I took them because my sister wanted them taken so badly. I guess my thought was that they were important to her.

      Delete
    2. No problem. I also realized that I didn't give you the right email address. Doh!

      Delete
  11. I've not heard of such a thing but like you, something definitely sounded odd about the entire transaction and I would have asked similar questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome home! Can't wait to hear about Michigan!

      Delete
    2. I'm working on getting things written up this afternoon.

      Delete
  12. Scammers are the lowest of the low. Glad you caught this one. There should be some rules on your local facebook that prevents scams like that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really don't think I am any smarter than your average bear, and that one jumped right out at me. I would have thought it triggered some closer scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete

I'm glad you're here!

Holiday Weekend

 If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, has it made a sound? The answer would be yes, of course. I'm sure there w...