BBB Scam of the Week: Bandit Scams

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Monroe, LA (KNOE) - Bandit Signs are created by Bandit Real Estate Want-To-Be's who pay cash for houses. These get rich real estate schemes target distressed owners and their signs are considered litter on the street and highway corners and poles. Should home owners use Bandit signs phone numbers to sell their home? According to Steve McLinden with "Bankrate" says; " they are the lowest of lowball buyers and are in the express business of making a fast buck off of you. Their aim is to buy at an average of about 65 cents on the dollar but they may pay even less, depending on the health of the market and repairs needed. They'll then quickly flip the property for a profit to a landlord or owner-occupant who will be more than happy to buy at, say, 85 percent of market value. While some buy in higher price ranges, most focus on homes less than $125,000, where there's the fastest resale potential." They have usually paid to attend a fortune building, financial freedom and real estate empire seminar."

Courtesy of MGN/Tony Magpantay

The bandits marketing plan is to place their signs all over the city and country roadways.

There are pages and pages of "You Tube" videos about making and putting out BANDIT SIGNS. They are called bandit signs by the self-proclaimed bandits themselves in training videos where they talk about the fact that they know the signs are considered litter and illegal. Most cities are going to pick them up and will never fine or find them if they use untraceable phones. They even say that while it is also illegal to put them on utility poles, but just do it any way- and put them up really high. They also encourage putting them out after midnight on Fridays on busy corners bordering low income residential areas. They give the best sites for ordering the signs. Sounds like they may be in the sign business also-or get a commission!

The first question the bandits usually ask is how much you still owe on the property. They are known as Equity Purchasers because they use the seller's lack of an equity position to start negotiations, like with time share owners, they are quick sale offers where they will take "TITLE" subject to your existing mortgage so if it does not get paid in full, the seller will still be on the hook. If the buyer is a real estate agent, that has to be stated on their signs and their supervising broker is responsible for their real estate ethics. In that case, there are fines for improper advertising from the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.

There are some advantages, If you can afford to take the $.65 on the dollar for the value of your home, then it is true that theory do pay cash and you will not be making repairs to improve your profit and they typically pay some or all closing costs. You should check the company out with the BBB and there should be no application fees or upfront payments.

The BBB ask business owners to get rid of this huge advertising issue. They implore all business owners and home owners to just remove these signs from corners, roadways and poles. They are a danger and a nuisance to our marketplace! When they go back up, please continue to take them down in the name of a trustworthy marketplace!