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Thornton warns homeowners about misleading notices

THORNTON, Colo. -- The city of Thornton is warning the community about misleading ads that are popping up in mailboxes.

The yellow postcards have large, bold lettering that read, "NOTICE *Attention Required*.” It says “City of Thornton” on it, along with a list of violations and fines.

“I was like holy smokes, what did we do wrong?” Thornton homeowner Christine Luellig said.

She found one in her mailbox on Monday. The postcards are individually addressed, and include customized names and addresses in the literature. She said the mailer shocked her at first, until she flipped it over to read the back.

“My wife and I are interested in buying your property. We are not real estate agents. We are a local family who buys properties for investments in your area,” the postcard reads.

It turns out, the notices are advertisements for the company We Buy Houses Denver. On the company’s website, it says it buys homes for cash, mostly below market value.

“It’s false. It’s misleading,” Luellig said.

She and several other residents notified the city of Thornton about the misleading ads.

“This is not from the city. This is not real,” Thornton spokesman Todd Barnes said.

In response, the city issued a warning to residents on social media site Nextdoor.com. The city attorney also sent a “strongly worded letter” to We Buy Denver Homes asking it to stop sending the mailers.

The city is also threatening legal action for portraying itself as the city of Thornton.

“We don’t want people to think they have to sell their house because they have some issue with the city,” Barnes said.

Luellig said her elderly neighbors could easily fall victim.

“They wouldn’t read through this. They would immediately just stop at the front and go, ‘What do I need to do? I need to call,’” she said.

She said while the postcards got her attention, they won’t get her business.

“If you go through all of this, I’m sure as hell not going to sell you my house because I’m sure you’ll find a way to weasel more money,” she said. “I wouldn’t trust them with a 10-foot pole.”

Neighbors said the same notices have been sent out in Brighton.

The company said it would have a response within 48 hours.