The Justice Center’s Al Ripley has an outstanding op-ed in today’s News & Observer entitled “Closing a door on homebuying abuses.” Among the highlights:
Sadly, the housing crisis has also led to an increase in unscrupulous practices in which scam artists take advantage of struggling homeowners and homebuyers trying to attain the American dream. These shady deals take equity from homeowners and leave prospective homebuyers with nothing to show for thousands of dollars in deposits, downpayments and monthly payments that often have been paid for years.
Because North Carolina lacks even the most basic common-sense regulation on issues such as foreclosure rescue scams and alternative purchase agreements, homeowners and buyers can be manipulated into bad deals that devastate families.”
Unfair and unscrupulous uses of real estate transactions exploit and manipulate families who are struggling to pay a home loan, or families having trouble obtaining a loan to purchase a home. They also threaten the economic wellbeing of our state. If we want to encourage affordable homeownership, and promote the economic stimulus it represents, we need to crack down on misleading and harmful practices.
Soon a state House committee will consider a wise and practical way to protect people who own or are looking to purchase a home – Senate Bill 1015, the Homeowner and Homebuyer Protection Act. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Josh Stein of Raleigh, would offer valuable safeguards to homeowners and homebuyers. It would create reasonable standards and protections for ‘lease option’ agreements and ‘contracts for deed.’ It would prohibit foreclosure rescue scams that gouge struggling families.
Most important, it would protect the people of North Carolina who are investing in our common future by trying to secure the American dream.”
Keep giving ‘em heck, Al.