After hearing the radio commerical about about turning renters with credit challenges into homebuyers, I decided to give them a call. I called the local office and listened to the message and thought it might be a good route to go if NHBA would buy the house for cash and then sell it to me. They even emphasized that if we were not qualified buyers we could live in the house as a lease purchase and buy it later when we qualified.
Other mortgage companies also told me to pay off more creditors before I would be approved for a home loan. I looked at both options and thought that since NHBA had programs in place to help consumers with credit challenges and I could live in my home now, I chose their option. Little did I know that when I went to the group meeting and sat through the presentation that things would soon go sour.
I paid the $100 refundable credit report fee. Of course when we were accepted into the credit program, we were elated. We quickly set up our next appointment to prepare to buy our home. We met with Mr. Mark Alden in the Dallas office and he answered all of our questions and concerns. We understood that the company had their own mortgage lenders and real estate agents and felt that it was a good system. We also expressed concerns about the process of finding a rent to own home if we didn't qualify right away. Mr.Alden reassured us that it was an easy process and we would have people to help us every step of the way.
We decided to enter the program and went ahead and paid the full $2,800 fee to cover our fees. We took the confusing contract home and read the contract during the 3-day period to the best of our understanding and didn't find any noticeable problems. About two weeks later, we received a letter from NHBA's mortgage company that stated that we didn't qualify for a loan right away. The letter stated that we would have to wait 13 months if we paid off all of our derogatory creditors off and 15 months if we didn't pay anyone off. We then expressed interest in the lease purchase program since it was our only option at the time.
They included a Xeroxed flow chart with the letter explaining that you could locate a lease purchase by looking in the paper or finding homes for sale by owner. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I called my counselor Teresa Ryburn and told her that I wanted the real estate agent to contact me to help me locate a property. She then expressed that since we didn't qualify for a loan so we would not be assigned a real estate agent. She explained that since they would not receive a commission, I would have to locate my own home and they would negotiate it.
After we realized that the program had misled us, we tried to play the game and find our own home to lease purchase. I kept running into owners that would not agree to lease purchase, or I found homes that did not fit my criteria. Fortunately, on one of my calls about a lease purchase I got a honest real estate agent on the phone.
After I explained what had happened with NHBA I was in tears and he told me that he wouldn't stop until we got a home. He sent me to his mortgage agent who pulled our credit for free and got us financed in a beautiful home.
I told NHBA to put my file on hold since I already had a home and they assured me that the money would be there when I wanted to use it.
Three years later, I called back to go ahead and buy a property to rent to a relative. I was informed that I wouldn't qualify because the property I bought from them would have to be my primary residence. She then told me that I would have to sell my current home or have proof that it was leased out. I told her that I was not moving I just wanted to utilize the money that they ripped me off for.
I told her that I guess I have to compare it to a bad weekend in Vegas and accept that I just gave them my $2,800 that I won't get back. In retrospect, I guess I would rather lose $2,800 than to let them burn me at the closing table for thousands more by stealing my equity away from me. They only buy properties below market value and sell it back to you for market value. The only way your money can be refunded is by getting 10 rejections from owners in a 4 month period (owners who will not fall for their scam). If they know that they are going to sell it at market value they could do the same instead of selling it below market value.
It is sad that a company makes its money by deceiving consumers and selling dreams. Please do not do business with these crooks.