Jerry and Wanda Artmeier say their housing nightmare began in December when they were looking to rent a house in Southgate.
WANDA ARTMEIER: "There was one of those yellow type signs in the yard that said house for rent. Rent to own. I called the number."
They looked in the house, decided to rent and signed a lease to own contract with G&S Financial of Alexandria.
ARTMEIER: "I paid a deposit in December and I made my first payment in January to move it. HOW MUCH HAVE YOU PAID SO FAR? So far with the deposit I've paid $3600."
In January she received a notice the house was going to be sold after foreclosure but was assured by G&S Financial everything was fine. Then two weeks ago she got notice to vacate by the end of this month.
ARTMEIER: "We were totally stunned. I called my husband who went to the courthouse and started checking cause we were hoping maybe the people we were leasing from had finally bought the house which was not the case."
Artmeier says she and her family are very upset.
ARTMEIER: "End of story, I've been out $3600. No place to live and a contract that's no good."
Artmeier says when all is said and done she feels she's out at least $5000. When she complained to G&S Financial they wrote her a check for $900 and that's all the money they've returned to her.
ARTMEIER: "It's just been very bad. Left a very bad taste so they encouraged me to please at least call you and warn people to be very careful. This isn't funny."
So why was G-and S Financial renting a house it apparently didn't own, and what did it do with the money? I called the company, but its number is disconnected and the owners have not returned my calls. I had Artmeier contact police, which she did.
And now I'm happy to report, the company paid the Artmeiers $7000 not to prosecute. They were also asked to tell me not to do the story. But, I feel because this type of thing could still be going on elsewhere, I need to tell everyone to beware.