The ‘fake landlord’ scam destroys lives in Detroit. But culprits rarely face consequences.

Discriminatory lending practices, crumbling conditions and limited access to banks have put conventional home loans out of reach for many in Detroit — a predominantly Black and low-income city. And prices in the city’s rental market are so low that reputable brokers and agencies stay away, leaving many renters to fend for themselves, relying on cash transactions and rent-to-own arrangements called land contracts that make them more susceptible to fraud.

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