PA Attorney General: Home Sale Scheme Targeted Low-Income Families

Lawsuit filed against Texas company accused of scamming PA home buyers

Robert Mangino
July 23, 2018 - 7:32 pm
Property Law

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit Friday alleging a Texas company has been scamming consumers into buying uninhabitable Pennsylvania homes.

Shapiro says more than 70 homeowners entered into unfair “for sale by owner” purchases with Harbour Portfolio Advisers, agreeing to pay more than $2.5 million plus 9.9 percent interest in transactions from 2010 to 2016.

Shapiro told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News the scam involved misleading property deeds and preyed upon low-income homeowners who were sold homes that often lack basic essentials like heat or electricity.

“These scammers exploited the fact that many of these would-be homebuyers were low-income, first-time homebuyers who really didn’t understand the complicated process of buying a home.”

He cautions consumers to use common sense.

“Don’t sign documents to buy a home before you have an inspection by a qualified inspector,” Shapiro suggests.

He also recommends doing research into the process of buying a home and ensuring all taxes and utilities associated with the house are paid off before assuming responsibility.

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