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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