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My family and I are currently looking to rent a place and we…

My family and I...

My family and I are currently looking to rent a place and we found something on craigslist and they offered us the place but we need to know if it's legitimate or not. After research of this place, it has been discovered that this particular property is owned by a mortgage company, what does that mean for us?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

The exact address is 2123 shaws corner rd clayton delaware

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Not as of yet, we currently stay in Baltimore looking to relocate. I contacted this person through craigslist meaning email. This person is staying with family out of town due to a car accident and they are planning to send all the information through a carrier. I know that everything isn't a scam but I want to make sure. I'm just not sure how to go about finding out

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I can think of

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/10/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: JA Mentor
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

You're right that not everything is a scam, but there are some major red flags here. The first being that the person who is offering to rent you the property is not listed as the legal owner. When a property shows up as being owned by a mortgage company, that most likely means it's a recent foreclosure. Contact the mortgage company directly to see if they can tell you anything. You might also want to search recent foreclosure listings. But scam artists can and do get real addresses for properties they've found for sale on other sites and offer to rent them out, so that's hugely suspicious. If you have any intention at all of renting the house, you can insist they produce documentation showing that they own it or have a right to rent it out first.

The second red flag is that the owner is out of town and unable to show you the property. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever agree to rent a house sight unseen. Even if it's not an outright scam - which is usually is - there are simply too many things that could be wrong inside the house and the only way to know is to walk through it before you agree to rent. There's no way to know whether any pictures you saw online were taken recently.

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If they're asking you to sign a lease or send them a deposit without visiting the inside of the property, run. It's a scam. Yes, property owners do sometimes rent their homes from other cities - I've done it - but people who are legitimate will either hire a realtor to do showings or leave a copy of the keys with a friend.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
this person told me that we can do a drive by to see it and also sent us additional pictures.They also said that the property is currently listed for sale but they opted to keep it and rent it. I looked the property up and saw those same pictures and that it is in fact up for sale. Now they have offered to send us these items:
-Entrance and the rooms Keys
-Paper/Permanent house form(Containing your reference details)
-The house documentary file.
-Payment Receipt.
-Additional papers for insurance on utilities in the house E.T.C
As of now they have not asked for any payment, what does that say to you. In your opinion?

You said the property is owned by a mortgage company, though. That's why it's up for sale. They foreclosed and now they want their money back. You really should talk to the bank. Some have websites where they list foreclosed properties they're selling, so you could also look at that. Or you could call the realtor listed on the sale and ask if this is a foreclosure.

If they're not willing to meet you at the house and show you the inside, or send a third party who can, it's not legitimate. The only way they can prove anything is to unlock the door and show you around. I could mail you some keys, but that doesn't mean they'll open the door.

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The whole thing still sounds wrong.

Especially because I don't even know what a "paper/permanent house form" means. Or why anyone would have insurance for utilities, and I've been a landlord, a tenant, and a lawyer for quite a while. Those sound like the kind of phrases scam artists make up because it sounds like they know what they're talking about.

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The random capitalization also suggests scam artist, like where they offer "Entrance and the rooms Keys." As if English isn't their first language, or they're used to speaking a slightly different form (such as the dialect common to Nigeria and Ghana).

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so very much, at first it sounded good but then it started to sound a little sketchy all because it happened so fast. Although we are looking for a place a.s.a.p, we still don't want to be scammed again. I appreciate it

You're very welcome. This definitely sounds like a place to avoid. Good luck.

Please rate my service positively, as this is the only way that I get paid for the time spent answering your questions. Thank you.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: JA Mentor
Verified
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