The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 1:00 am

Bankruptcy filing may send homeowners packing

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – A house-flipping company in Indianapolis that pitched its services to Christian audiences has filed for bankruptcy, leaving more than 120 people who bought or sold homes through the firm in limbo.

Chart Properties LLC filed for bankruptcy Oct. 17, and the monetary losses could be more than $5 million, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The bankruptcy petition contains few details about the company's finances, but it indicates that the company doesn't have the assets to repay clients and other creditors.

Chart Properties had contracts to purchase the properties it sold, but the contract deals were made with no money down – so Chart didn't actually own the homes. The company would put buyers in the homes and charge them monthly payments in a rent-to-own style. The company would then repay sellers from those funds.

The business largely pitched its services at churches, on the internet and on religious radio and TV stations.

The bankruptcy means ownership of homes the company bought will likely revert back to the original sellers, said Briane House, an attorney representing a home seller in a lawsuit against the company.

“The real problem here is there's apparently no money left,” House said. “And messes like this, without funds, are particularly difficult to unravel.”

Legal experts say families who bought homes from Chart Properties could be forced out, and those who sold their homes may be saddled with property they don't want.

Many sellers said they don't want the homes back because they've bought other properties or can't afford the mortgages.

The company's owners and their representatives didn't return messages seeking comment from the Indianapolis Star. In June, Chart President Robert Keck told the newspaper that the company offered a nontraditional way for people to achieve home ownership.

The company bought and sold more than 60 homes in Indiana in 2016, according to records.

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