Screw bank settlements and the like, marketing companies will solve the mortgage crisis by slapping QR codes and Facebook buttons on underwater houses! The firm Brainiacs From Mars is hoping to, in the words of its CEO, "impact the foreclosure crisis" in just such a way and starting with a house in Buena Park, reports Reuters. They've painted Scott and Beth Hostetler's four-bedroom house green and orange and decked it out in logos, and in exchange they're paying the Hostetlers' "nearly $2,000 monthly mortgage." The Hostetlers have told neighbors the advertising will only be up for a month, but Scott says he's hoping it'll be more like six months. While Buena Park allows houses to be painted any color, City Councilmember Fred Smith says that the advertising "does not follow with the city codes?They are going to be in trouble."
CEO Romeo Mendoza tells Reuters that he wants his logo on 1,000 houses across the US and that he's already received 38,000 applications from homeowners. He says he "wants to choose the most deserving cases rather than homes on the busiest streets." Most of the applications are for houses in California, Nevada, and Florida, the states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. According to Reuters, "one in every 270 homes has been foreclosed upon" in Buena Park, and Mendoza says he's banking on that kind of vulnerability: "Once people start seeing how it works, once they get it, the moment they realize it is paying people's mortgages, they are always on our side, because of this economy."
· Exclusive: Mortgage problems? Turn your house into a billboard [Reuters]