'Rent-to-own' mortgage deals spark fraud indictments

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A real estate agent who allegedly targeted subprime buyers by offering “rent-to-own” mortgages with no down payment has been indicted with four others on fraud charges.

Prosecutors said Theresa Sanders of Westerville, Ohio, operated the scheme for nine years in Central New York, relying on inflated appraisals and falsified loan applications and credit reports.

Sanders and others were sued by about 20 former clients in 2009 in five separate civil cases, the Syracuse-based Post-Standard newspaper reports. Two of the lawsuits resulted in default judgments against Sanders and her brother, who operates a mortgage company in Ohio, the paper said. Source: syracuse.com.