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Turn your home into a billboard

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, February 13, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

From the strange-but-true files: Struggling homeowners can find mortgage relief by allowing their home to be turned into a giant billboard. Apparently, 38,000 people are desperate or creative enough to submit their homes as potential advertisements to the marketing company behind this idea, Brainiacs from Mars.

The founder of the company, Romeo Mendoza, told Reuters that he wants to place giant ads on 1,000 homes in the U.S. In exchange, his company will pay the mortgage for up to a year. He initially placed the billboard idea on his website in April, 2011, and says he's been contacted by homeowners from as far away as Japan and Russia.

Mendoza says he wants to make an impact in the foreclosure crisis and sees this idea as a win-win. Homeowners get mortgage relief for a period of time and his company gets an eye-catching billboard. He's already transformed one home in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, into a billboard for Brainiacs. The bulk of applications from potential homeowners have come from the states hardest hit by foreclosures: Nevada, Florida and Arizona.

"The response has been overwhelming," Mendoza told Reuters. "People are hurting, and struggling to stay in their homes. If we can help some of them, that would be great."

So far, the neighbors of the Buena Park home painted as a billboard have been tolerant, mostly because they say they believe the ad will only be up for a month and they understand the plight of struggling homeowners. In Southern California, 44 percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, according to Reuters. It remains to be seen if this scheme goes over well with city codes and zoning laws.

Would you consider allowing your house to be painted as a giant billboard in exchange for some mortgage payments, and how would you feel if this happened in your neighborhood?

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41 Comments
Katie
March 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Christine, Christine, Christine,
Where do we start? How about you have never been in this position? Yes, people knew what they were signing. They also knew that they had a job. Now people can't get a job anywhere. I know I have tried. Age and experience doesn't count for anything anymore. We lost our business, jobs, health insurance and house alll in one year. A contract is a contract. The sad fact is that you will ultimately be paying for our contract because you were hard nosed like banks are. Keep people in their homes, help them, not thumb your nose at them.

waggie
March 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hey
Whatever makes the payment legally make it happen. worked almost 30 years for a corporation and they shut down and move in another country. now I am middle aged and low paying jobs and no benefits. M A K E I T H A P P E N...

jtwrevo
March 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

When will people wake up and realize this country is owned by the wealthy and for the wealthy. Banks, Special Interest groups, Politicians. We are taxing the Middle Class to fuel the wealthy's greed. Doesn't truly matter if you vote Republican or Democrat - they are all owned once elected.

We need a 99 per-center Party. One that will pledge not to take money from special interests/lobbyists. Or, even better, we need a revolution.

cg1773
March 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

So if I get this right from Ima Mom. Yes a contract is a contracr, but contracts can be renegotiated. The bank wouldn't do anything to help people that have fallen on hard times. The banks are making millions if not billions on the people, yet they refuse to help those people that need help.

Christine
March 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

@Ima Mom, Why should the banks and mortgage companies lower the interest rate? The people who entered into the contract should have known what they were getting into. A contract is a contract the last I heard.

carole
March 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I would do it!! Whatever it takes to keep a home because the banks sure aren't going to help you!!!

Tom
March 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Vincent,

These "toxic" loans to which you refer were created by the predatory banking systems in this country and not by the homeowner (or potential homeowner). Too many people were taken advantage of by the mortgage and banking institutions and nothing but greed was the motivator.

The only toxicity in this entire foreclosure scenario is the greedy bankers and politicians, as well as the rich in this country, and they are the ones that need to be eliminated!

Ima Mom
March 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

STILL make a profit !!

Greed in all forms is destroying this country.

Very sad.

Ima Mom
March 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I am sure the bank(s() and mortgage companies could easily lower the interest rates on mortgages and STILL

Vincent
March 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I dont think anyone cares about the value of the home in a monetary way when they are late or even have had a foreclosure proceedure started against them. As for how neighbors will react because osmehow this lowers the value is also I think incorrect. When you house is in foreclosure it is public record already and triggers everyone to assume they can set up a short sale for your house or buy your home for below market value anyway. In the short term this may bother people this deal but in the long term it will speed the process of all the toxic loans being removed from the books and speed the process of home values rising. S