ELLENWOOD, Ga. ,None - An Ellenwood woman said she rented a home thinking she could eventually buy it from the company who leased it to her only to have her dream of ownership come apart when Fannie Mae showed up at her front door.
The company that rented the home to Chiquella White said they got approval to lease the house from the original owner who walked away from it.
White said when she signed her contract, she was under the impression it was a lease-to-own contract. The company said had she kept paying them rent, it would've been.
"Nobody should have to go through this. This is wrong," White said.
White rented her home from New Life Granted and said they told her she could eventually buy it from them.
"This was their exact words…we are in the process of purchasing the home," White said.
Then Fannie Mae showed up at her door with a notice saying they owned the home, but she kept getting bills from New Life.
"Why should I pay you for a Fannie Mae house?" she said.
Channel 2's Craig Lucie sat down with John Harris, the owner of New Life Granted, who said Fannie Mae didn't own the house. He said they technically didn’t own the home at the time of the sale since they didn't immediately file a deed under power.
Harris said a law passed by Congress in 2009 called the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act protects White as a tenant until his company can buy the house.
He said New Life gets the permission of owners who are about to go into foreclosure, and then rents their house before the bank forecloses on the home.
Harris said he told White and she signed a contract that says New Life could not guarantee her that they would eventually own the house.
"My competitive advantage is to tie that house up in a lease that the lender can't get out of. There's a federal law that I use," Harris said.
"I'm just disgusted," White said.