April 2, 2020

Class Action Suit Alleges Unfair Rent-To-Own Practices

stock photo

stock photo

A federal court has certified a case against an Indianapolis rent-to-own company as a class action case -- where a group of people with similar claims can sue the defendant as a group.

Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana Executive Director Amy Nelson says the new certification is important.

"By being able to get the class status we can now try to get justice for many more consumers who we feel were harmed by the respondents practices," says Nelson. 

The class ruling includes thousands of current and former clients of Rainbow Realty Group.  Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is also a plaintiff. The real estate company is accused of deceiving customers with the promise of homeownership.

"We view those contracts as predatory, that they violated a number of federal and state laws including that they disproportionately impacted African Americans and Latinos, here in Indianapolis," says Nelson. 

The case, filed in 2017, includes nearly one thousand homes in the city. The realty group is accused of selling properties that are uninhabitable and obligating renters to do repairs or face eviction, with no protection.

Anyone who believes they could be part of the suit should contact Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana.

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