NC AG To Financially Struggling Homeowners, Wanna-Be Homebuyers: Beware Of Being Baited By Roadside 'Bandit Signs' Advertising "We Buy Homes" Or "Rent-To-Own" Deals; Offers May Be Nothing More Than Cover For Rent-Skimming Racket
- Scammers are trying to take advantage of struggling families by promising to buy homes for quick cash.
These scammers send postcards and put out signs proclaiming, “We buy homes!” But rather than buying houses as advertised, most of these companies will try to convince you to sign over control of your home. The company then leases the property out to a new tenant. As a result, you lose rights to your home but remain on the hook for mortgage payments.
Homebuyers or tenants can also be hit hard by these scams, which can advertise homes in deceptive rent-to-own agreements for big upfront fees.
Before you reply to a “we buy homes” ad, remember:
These companies aren’t likely to pay cash for your home or help secure a fast payoff of your current mortgage.
Beware of anyone who asks you to sign over the title to your home based only on their promises to sell your property.
If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, speak with your lender directly. You can also contact the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project for help at 1-888-442-8188.
Prospective tenants and buyers should never pay money upfront before signing a lease or contract. Work with a real estate or leasing agent you trust.
In rent-to-own agreements, always confirm that the person you’re signing the contract with is the owner of the home.
If you think you’ve experienced a “we buy homes” scam or have questions about mortgage help you’ve heard advertised, please contact our Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at www.ncdoj.gov.
Editor's Note: This advisory is equally applicable to contract for deed ripoffs and land contract rackets.