A grandmother who faced eviction in Detroit last year after she fell victim to a “fake landlord” scam is getting the chance to buy her home, lawyers connected to her case said.
June Walker, 65, signed a rent-to-own lease on a three-bedroom bungalow in 2019 and spent the next two years fixing it up, paying $550 a month to a man who claimed to work for her landlord.
She thought she’d bought the house until June 2021, when the home’s actual owner — a Florida-based real estate company called Boccafe LLC — filed to evict her. Walker’s case was one of several NBC News and Outlier Media reported on last fall in an investigation of the scam, in which people sell or rent vacant homes they don’t own. At the time, Walker was worried she’d become homeless.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
Those worries subsided this week when an agreement filed in Detroit’s 36th District housing court paved the way to end the eviction. Boccafe pledged to sell Walker the house for $45,000, which Walker will pay using money from a donor who read about her case on NBC News.
One of Walker’s lawyers, Ted Phillips, the executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition, a Detroit housing advocacy organization, was glad to see Walker’s case resolved but said most victims of the “fake landlord” scam lose their homes.