Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Racket Disguised As Solution For Underwater Homeowners To Unload Their Homes Turns Out To Be Lease-To-Own, Rent Skimming Scam

In Phoenix, Arizona, KNXV-TV Channel 15 reports:
  • People around the country blame a couple of Valley businesses after losing their money and their homes to something that sounded like a great deal.

    Scottsdale attorney Laura Bramnick represents Thomas Ferry, who owed more on his Indiana home that it was worth. He didn’t want to sell it at a loss and he didn’t want to default.

    “He was looking for solutions to keep his home until it could increase in value enough that he could sell it and break even,” she says.

    What he found was Phoenix-based Mortgage Relief Solutions.

    “They had a program where they would make his mortgage payments, put a tenant in the property and the tenant would also be interested in purchasing the property,” Bramnick says.

    Mortgage Relief Solutions’ sister company, Lease with a Plan, would find the tenant. Once the tenant became credit-worthy, they would buy the house and the company would pay off the original loan.

    Bramnick says that didn’t happen. After a couple of months of keeping up to date, her client says Mortgage Relief Solutions didn’t pay the mortgage for five months. He says he was ignored when he tried to get answers and continued paying the mortgage himself to prevent a foreclosure.

    “At that point (he) wanted to collect the rent from the tenants that were in there and he was not able to do that unless and until we sued and got an order from the judge, basically rescinding everything that happened," she says.

    In 2016, he sued Mortgage Relief Solutions, Lease With a Plan, business officer Eric D. Brown, and T.M Shelby for breach of contract. A judge awarded Ferry more than $10,000 in damages.

    We tracked down homeowners in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and tenants in Virginia. They all found the companies online. And they all say the companies stopped paying the mortgage or never paid at all.