Home purchasing

Flint woman scammed over $ 6,000 after buying house actually owned by Land Bank

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – A woman from Flint says she has more than $ 6,000 after a home purchase from a woman turns out to be a scam.

Now she finds out that the real owner is the Genesee County Land Bank.

The woman says she has already invested $ 20,000 in the house to repair it, but may soon be forced to leave with nothing.

ABC12 has contacted the Genesee County Land Bank, and they say this happens on a regular basis, offering some tips to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

“Tires. There was a front end of a Yukon. The yard had tons of trash cans. Several dead dogs.

Mary Kelly and Joann Roberts explain the unlivable conditions at a Flint home near Pierson and Clio Roads. They bought the house for just $ 6,000 in 2018 and then shed their blood, sweat and tears in it.

“Everything was bought at Home Depot. All. I put it all in, ”Kelly said, showing ABC12 her kitchen countertops and cabinets.

“Tear up the floor, put in a new floor, toilet, tubs, sink, kitchen sink. There were big holes in the wall where you really don’t have a choice but to hang drywall. Basically you name it and I did it, ”Kelly said.

Now Kelly makes a shocking discovery. She began to receive mail that the house that the previous owner never mentioned. These taxes were not paid and the house was foreclosed and is now owned by the Genesee County Land Bank, but when Mary picked up the phone to call the previous owner, “Erica”, she realized it was too much. late.

“The phone number is not the same. Everything has changed on me, ”Kelly said.

When asked if the deal seemed legitimate, Kelly said the previous owner showed the title and the deed with his name on it. They started a payment plan and after the final payment was made the number was blocked.

“It’s a slap in the face. It’s like playing with someone’s livelihood. You don’t tell someone it’s your house, and they give you the money, and they support their end and then find out that you have no connection with them. It ruined my sanity like I wasn’t sleeping, ”Roberts said.

Sadly, this is an issue that the Genesee County Land Bank deals with on a regular basis, and they say do your homework before you become the next victim.

“Make sure you are actually dealing with the actual owner. First step, you can actually go to the Flint properties portal, and this is where you can get ownership and ownership information for any property in the city of Flint. I definitely want to check with the treasurer’s office to make sure there are no unpaid taxes on the property. Water Department to make sure there is no accumulated balance there too, ”said Michael Freeman. Freeman is the executive director of Land Bank.

The Land Bank is currently working with the Flint couple to strike a roughly $ 4,000 deal to sell the property, but the added complication is that it is also on a city demo list. Women will need to contact the Building Inspection Service to see if this can be removed from this first before accepting a sale.

Freeman says he’s working with the Flint Police Department to resolve this issue and recommends anyone in need of resources to go to Eastern Michigan Legal Department for help and support.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.


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