Door-to-door sales landed women with dementia in a 10year long contract.

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Matt Fuchs thought having a line of credit based on the equity in his mother’s house would be simple when he needed money to hire a home-care worker for his 82-year-old mother, who has dementia.

Instead of this, due to a $12,500 lien on the property for home heating and cooling equipment, the claim was rejected. Fuchs claims he and his mother were completely unaware of the situation. Later, the lien was raised to more than $15,000.

The lien was put on Mercedes Chacin de Fuchs’s property after a company named Nationwide Home Comfort turned up at her door in 2017 and convinced her to sign a 10-year rental contract for a furnace and air conditioner.

He claims his mother, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, told him the salesperson said the business was a part of a provincial environmental initiative that saves homeowners money.

According to paralegal John Robinson, who represents Fuchs and his mother in court, tens of thousands of Canadians are trapped in similar “unconscionable” contracts.

According to Robinson, the contracts are sold by an HVAC company to seniors, people with disabilities, and people who speak English as a second language.

The contract is then purchased by another corporation, which begins receiving monthly payments — providing “financing.” The lending company will then claim that it has nothing to do with how the contracts were signed, according to Robinson.

These companies then place liens on the property for the machinery, which are often not discovered by the homeowners before they try to sell or refinance, according to him.