Hi, home seller here again. Thanks for all of your responses, any bit of advice helps. Here's a little bit more information. I had a conversation with the organization in question, and although they spoke in only general terms (they haven't had a chance to "run the numbers" officially yet), they answered some of my questions.
My mortgage does have a "due on sale" clause, I checked. I mentioned this to "Joe" (the person I have been speaking with), and he said that they work with these all the time, and the process involves "putting the home into a trust" and transferring that way. He said "everything is fine and legal" and "we do this all the time". Big red flag for me there. It's getting into "legal-eeeze" that I no longer can follow. I hate to spend the money on an attorney, but I guess it's the right thing to do if I want to protect myself. I have not mentioned any of this to my Realtor yet. Do Realtors have any training or information about this kind of legal stuff? I am guessing not.
So according to my conversation with Joe, it works like this: Joe's organization finds "good people who have fallen on bad times," who need housing. They get them into a house (like mine), charging these people "rent", on a rent-to-own plan, which equals about $100 more than the mortgage payment (therefore Joe makes $100/month on these people). These people agree to pay Joe's company, for example, $130,000 for this house they are currently living in and renting. Joe agrees to pay me $120,000 for the house. Joe's company works with these people to help them clean up their credit, then works with lenders to get them some "traditional" financing. When the people get their financing and buy the house from Joe, he makes his $10,000 and pays off my mortgage. At that time I get a check for the equity in my home (this process could take years, as you can imagine).
This sounds "too good to be true". I have already resigned the fact that I won't be getting a big fat check when I sell my house, if I have to keep dropping the price in this depressed market. But, I have a 15 year mortgage currently, and I "earn" about $500 every month in equity. If this process takes a year, that's $6000 more in equity, or less I owe, on my mortgage. Assuming I can live without my equity right now (which I can), this seems to be an outstanding option for me. The longer it takes, the more profit I make, as someone else pays down my mortgage. What am I missing, because this is just too easy.
And Keith, I am, if you read my original post, already represented by a Realtor. My home is listed in the Duluth Area Associaton of Realtors MLS, on the local and national Coldwell Banker websites (as well as Trulia and Zillow), in the local newspaper on the front cover of the Homes section every week, and my Realtor holds open houses at least twice a month. It is TOTALLY listed. I ended up speaking with "Joe" by searching on-line trying to find help with my situation (i.e. I own two homes right now).
According to the Better Business Bureau, the organization has been in business since November 2005, and
"based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record, does not have an unusual volume of complaints, or any government actions involving its marketplace conduct. The BBB understands and has no concerns about the company's products, services and type of business. The BBB processed a total of 0 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period." That's mildly reassurring.
Any other bits of insight?