Do Not Sign Any Contracts From Door-to-Door Salespeople

I hope that this alerts you to the abuse of a legal device that is often used by door to door scammers. The legal name of this device is: Notice of Security Interest.( NOSI for short). They can be registered on the title to your home . The NOSI advises anyone searching your title that a third party owns equipment or materials attached to your home such as a furnace, or even a hot water tank. The NOSI then forms a lien on your title.

NOSIs are used by door to door scammers who are skilled in misleading homeowners, especially the elderly. Usually these door to door scammers make the homeowner believe that they have some official government role and that the product that they are selling will be installed at no cost through some kind of government or rebate program. They get the homeowner to sign a rental contract, but do not advise the homeowner that the fine print of the rental contract authorizes the leasing company to register a NOSI. Once the scammers leave and the equipment is installed several months will pass by and suddenly the homeowner sees charges for equipment on their gas or hydro bill and/or preauthorized payments being deducted from their bank account. When the homeowner complains to the leasing company, they are told that they have signed a contract and that a large amount of money will be owing if they decide to cancel the contract. Later the homeowner finds out that a NOSI has been registered against their property.

Unfortunately, the NOSI has to be removed in order for the homeowner to ever sell the property. Then the scammers and unethical leasing companies use the NOSI as leverage. Often, through court action, the contracts can be cancelled and the NOSI removed. However, that takes a large amount of time and significant legal expense. Therefore, the best solution is to not get taken in by the door to door scammers.

If anybody tells you that they are at your home to offer you the chance to utilize a government program (or to offer you anything), you should ask the person to leave and then contact a lawyer that you trust.

The lawyers at the Unifor Legal Services Plan are aware of how the door to door scammers operate and they are well prepared to provide you with advice.

Frank Carlone
Staff Lawyer, Brampton