Dallas family scammed into buying home seller didn’t own

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DALLAS — Buying a house can be a huge headache, but this goes way beyond that.

Jose Inez Palma purchased a house in South Dallas a little over two years ago for $8,000. Since then, the family has poured $70,000 into it, replacing boarded-up windows, covering broken-out floors, and re-doing the entire electrical and plumbing systems.

The problem is, it was all a scam. The people who sold them the house no longer owned it.

“I got the house over the internet and we’re a big family,” Palma said through an interpreter. “I feel like they lied to us. We put our entire life savings into this house.”

Now the house is being foreclosed upon and put up for auction. According to the auction website, the occupancy status is “Unknown,” but with nine people living there, it’s pretty apparent.

The scam isn’t even a rare one. The family living next door is in the same situation, conned into buying a home the seller didn’t technically own.

For Jose and his family, the situation is leaving them with few options.

“They are desperately looking for a solution. However, they are very limited with funds and it’s difficult when you don’t have money to make a move,” said Lisette Caraballo. “Everything that they have is invested in this house.”

Caraballo volunteered to work with the family to try and stop or at least delay the imminent foreclosure and auction. They’re even willing to pay the mortgage on the home, despite all they’ve already spent on it.

It’s a last desperate move to try to hold onto their home.

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