News 4 Investigates: Questions raised about 2 related real estat - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Questions raised about 2 related real estate companies

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First house purchased by Wayne Crawford from Heartland Finance in Festus (KMOV) First house purchased by Wayne Crawford from Heartland Finance in Festus (KMOV)
Second house purchased by Wayne Crawford from Heartland Finance in Festus (KMOV) Second house purchased by Wayne Crawford from Heartland Finance in Festus (KMOV)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com)  - The experiences of two recent homebuyers in Jefferson County are raising questions about the practices of companies that offer owner-financing opportunities to prospective buyers.

Wayne Crawford says he bought two homes from Heartland Finance in Festus. He claims the homes were not in the condition that was represented. Crawford says he had to spend thousands of dollars to make repairs. 

Additionally, after what Crawford says was a brief problem with payments, one of the homes was sold to another buyer, without notifying Crawford.

Thomas Jamson, another homeowner, says he bought a home from New Era Finance that turned out to be filled with trash and debris. Jamson claims the house was represented as being clean and in move-in condition.

It turns out that Heartland Finance and New Era Finance are related companies.

The owner of Heartland Finance, Michael Leroy Smith, says he placed the blame on the buyers. Smith says one owner did not make payments on time. He also says that this is what led to the sale of the property in question.

Smith went on to say, "Some people just shouldn't be buying homes."

However, a housing law expert says she has a different view.

Susan M.  Alverson is the managing attorney for the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and says she looked at Heartland's contract.

Alverson said, "This contract that you've shown me, I have never seen anything like this in my life. This is really pretty bad."

Alverson advises all prospective home buyers to read over any purchase or mortgage contract in full before signing. She also says if you have any questions, consult an attorney.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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