Home Lease Scam

Now that there are thousands of homes in foreclosure the old scam of leasing out homes that you do not own is back.

The crooks check the county records for a house that is in foreclosure and the owner has left the home. It is just sitting there ready to be picked off by a scammer. The con artists will take over the home and list it with a legitimist licensed real estate agent. They will show the agent some phony property documents on the house, and make the leasing price very attractive. Sometimes they will even get a gardener and a cleaning crew to make the bait appealing. It is like putting small yellow feathers on a fly-fish lure.

Here is an example how this scam, or crime, just took place in Los Angeles.

Daniel Glaser, an attorney, and his family of four leased a home through an LA real estate agency. It was a nice four-bedroom home in an area call Country Club Park. Glaser paid $12,000 down payment including first, last and security deposit. He made his lease payments of $4,000 a month to the owner of the house. He had signed a two year lease.

Then several months later he got a knock at the door and it was an eviction notice to leave the house immediately since it had been sold to a mortgage company at a foreclosure sale. Thats when he found out that he had made the $12,000 down payment, and the four thousand dollars a month rent to a con artist who was not the owner of the house. The crook has now completely disappeared. The real estate agent says she did not get copies of the home ownership documents, but remembers seeing them.

The Glaser Family is refusing to move, and my take legal action against the licensed real estate agency. His kids are in school and they do not what to change schools right now. Plus Glaser and his wife are both attorneys and they could cloud the title to the house and maybe stay for the rest of the lease. He has offered to buy the house from the mortgage company that now owns it, but no one will talk to him.

This is not the first time I have seen this type of scam pulled on innocent renters. When renting or leasing property ALWAYS check county records on any sale of that property and who is the current owner. Remember someone can always show you forged documents, so always check county computer records. If you notice that there has been a quitclaim deed filed a short time before, I suggest you call the seller on the deed and make sure he or she really did sell the property to the person on the quitclaim deed. Some of the crooks will file forged quitclaim documents with the county.