Family with 12 kids homeless after scam by fake landlords

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ATLANTA – A single mother and her 12 children have become homeless after falling victim to fake landlords. They desperately need to find another home, otherwise mom Tocca Collins said state officials will take away her children.

Collins said she paid a company called the Real Estate Connection a sum of $600 every month to rent in the home in Southwest Atlanta. The two men, who tricked her, promised repairs. “I had promises that they were going to come and fix whatever needed to be fixed in the house.” she said in an interview with CBS Atlanta.

Despite the assurances, the family waited seven months but nothing got done.”My biggest nightmare came of August 2011 when my light box caught on fire. Georgia Power disconnected my service because it was too dangerous,” Collins said.

Since then, the family has been using a generator for the past 10 months. After she stopped paying rent because her so-called landlords refused to make repairs, they took Collins to court in an attempt to get her evicted. It was then that she said she discovered the truth.

“No one could provide the deed to the house. The people renting me the house don’t own it,” Collins said. Now the “fake” landlords have disappeared and the family  has no place to live.

“I am trying to make some effort right now to work something out, but I am lost,” Collins said. “The phony landlords should be paying the money back to my mom and they should also go to jail for it,” son Octavious Collins said.

It transpires that the house is actually owned by a woman who lives in New York. The owner, who has no plans to do the repairs, claims she had no idea her home was being rented out.

Meanwhile, Occupy Atlanta is working with the family. The group said it hopes the public will help raise enough money to buy the Collins family a home, which will be renovated by volunteers.

Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti