The Indianapolis Business Journal's website has a report today regarding a lawsuit recently filed here in Indiana that targets a “predatory and unlawful rent-to-own scheme.” The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of the alleged victims of the scheme and claims violations of "several fair housing, equal credit opportunity act, truth-in-lending and condition-of-premises laws."
Here is a link to the article: Lawsuit targets local rent-to-own housing operator. Evidently the Indiana Attorney General sued the same operator back in 2012 for similar claims and "for allegedly running a rent-to-buy scheme meant to avoid Indiana's landlord tenant law." See: Ind. AG Zoeller suing Rainbow Realty.
Although I have not read the complaints or reviewed the "rent-to-own" contracts, the transactions in question would seem to be land contracts. Indiana law views these types of agreements as a kind of hybrid of a lease and a mortgage loan. I've written about land contracts in the following posts:
- Land Contract Vendee Defeats Mortgagee’s Foreclosure Case
- Indiana Land Contracts and Forfeiture
- Lien Priority Dispute: 2005 Mortgage v. 2000 Land Contract
If you are involved in a land contract dispute or wish to obtain advice about land contracts on the front-end, please email me at John.Waller@WoodenMcLaughlin.com or call 317-639-6151. Also, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @JohnDWaller or on LinkedIn, or you can subscribe to my blog posts via RSS or email as noted to your left.