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Pa. victims, including 8 in Berks, snared in rent-to-own scam get to keep their homes, court rules

The victims of a dubious rent-to-own agreement that effected 650 residents — including eight in Berks County — will be able to own their homes, an Allegheny County court ruled.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday that Allegheny Court entered a judgment against Vision Property Management LLC and other defendants that stated all 285 homes owned by the property companies located in Pennsylvania be immediately deeded over to the people who signed a rent-to-own agreement with one of the companies.

“Pennsylvanians who were taken advantage of by Vision Property Management and its affiliates’ deceptive ‘rent to own’ schemes will finally be homeowners,” Shapiro said in a press release. “My office will work tirelessly to implement the court’s order as quickly as possible and seek fair compensation for anyone who was ripped off and forced to leave their home.”

Vision Property Management and its affiliates have filed an appeal.

Eight homes in Berks County were part of the ruling. Six homes were in Reading, one in Hamburg and another in Robeson Township.

The attorney general’s office filed a complaint in October 2019 against Vision Property Management and its affiliates for operating the rent-to-own scheme. The suit alleged that Vision utilizes misleading sales tactics to lure consumers into entering rent-to-own agreements on foreclosed houses that are in serious disrepair.

The complaint alleged Vision Property Management and its affiliates, without the consumers’ knowledge, signed lease-to-purchase agreements that provided no ownership rights to the consumer.

The consumers also faced immediate eviction if they fell behind on payments and were required to pay for expensive repairs to make the homes habitable.

The judgment ordered that 285 homes owned by defendants and located in Pennsylvania be immediately deeded to consumers who have signed a “lease with option to purchase,” “agreement for deed” land installment contract or mortgage, and who are currently or most recently occupied these homes.

Shapiro’s office will continue to seek restitution for consumers who had a contract with Vision, but are no longer occupying the homes.


Source: Berkshire mont

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