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Cummings Demands Documents from Company Promoting Lease-to-Own Housing Scheme

May 12, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Demands Documents from Company Promoting Lease-to-Own Housing Scheme

 

Vision Property Management Claims Exemption from Landlord-Tenant Laws That Protect Families Against Lead and Other Hazards

 

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2017)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the CEO of Vision Property Management demanding the company produce documents relating to its abusive business model of purchasing foreclosed properties at bargain-basement prices from the Government Sponsored Enterprises and then leasing them out under lease-to-own agreements that place all responsibility for upkeep on tenants.  Cummings also sought documents pertaining to the potential physical harms Vision’s business model may be inflicting on families across the country.

“I have grave concerns about the physical and financial wellbeing of tenants in leases with Vision and any consumers who may be considering leasing properties currently offered by Vision,” Cummings wrote.  “It appears that Vision reaps significant financial rewards by obtaining foreclosed properties at bargain-basement prices, leasing them ‘as is’ under lease-to-own agreements, and requiring tenants to pay many times the purchase prices over the course of their leases while bearing all of the costs of repairing and maintaining the properties. It also appears that Vision boosts its profits by ignoring state and local laws requiring it to ensure the habitability of its properties and protect tenants from lead and other hazards.”

Cummings insisted the company provide information and documents first requested in his January letter as well as documents requested by Committee staff in March.  Vision has produced limited information relating to its purchase of foreclosed properties across the country and has produced no documents indicating that it inspected properties for the presence of lead paint before leasing them out, as Maryland and Baltimore laws require.

Cummings also wrote a letter requesting that the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) take action to protect consumers by restricting investors from purchasing real estate owned (REO) properties from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while shirking their legal responsibilities as landlords and property owners to maintain the properties’ habitability and safety.  He also asked FHFA to take steps to increase sales of REO properties to nonprofit and public entities, including by backing loans to those entities. 

Click here to read the letter to Vision.

Click here to read the letter to FHFA. 

115th Congress