"7 on Your Side": Scheming house hunters

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - "It was just like I was picked out of a grab bag," said Sadie Dennard, a Bullard homeowner.

Dennard is not alone. The Better Business Bureau says folks in Emerald Bay and now Whitehouse are being targeted by house hunters.

"What they're doing is they're mailing out letters just like this one saying they're interested in buying your home," explained Linda Bailey, with the BBB. "The BBB suspect it is a scam and they're targeting folks facing foreclosures to take advantage of."

The Obama administration announced a new crackdown on foreclosure scams, plaguing struggling homeowners in America. Many times they offer to purchase your house and let you rent, until you can buy it back. While it may seem like an answer to their prayers said the BBB, that couldn't be further from the truth. The BBB said scammers can take over your payments and raise the price.

"They've taken all your equity," said Bailey. "All of a sudden you don't have a home and you're out in the cold."

"It was a funny feeling 'cause you wonder what are they wanting my house for," said Dennard.

We wanted to find out, so I called the local number. However, you reach a receptionist who is supposed to relay your message to the so-called private real estate investors.

"They buy houses," said the receptionist. "I don't have any further information about that. You'd have to ask them I'm sorry."

"And you can't reach them right now," I asked her.

"No ma'am," said the receptionist.

We left a message, but so has the BBB and they've never gotten a return call. They've traced the name to a local post office box, but are hitting a dead end.

"A lot of these people when they have post office boxes they're somewhere else," said Bailey. "They're just having the mail diverted from that box to another one."

Dennard didn't fall for it, and in fact, she dares anyone to try and take her home.

"Ain't nobody getting mine while I'm still alive," she said. "I'll just put it that way."

The BBB says if you are facing foreclosure, contact a legitimate mortgage company.

They advise calling 1-888-995-HOPE or visiting www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

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