• Marketing campaign offers free mortgage for select homeowners


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Hundreds of homeowners in Orlando who want to live mortgage-free for a year have agreed to be part of an extreme and controversial marketing campaign.

    Tammy Valdes is one homeowner who's applied to transform her home into a neon-hued billboard to get her mortgage paid for a year.

    "It would be such a relief. It would be such a burden off of me to have my house that color," said Valdes.

    A marketing company, Brainiacs From Mars, is using such homes to advertise its creativity.

    After painting its first home in California, it signed several Fortune 500 companies and doubled its staff.

    More than 300 Orlando homeowners have applied for the program so far.

    The company's California CEO said his decision will be based on who needs help the most.

    "Everyone has a good story, so we don't want to be judge and jury. We go in there, read their application and go with what feels right," said CEO Romeo Mendoza.

    To qualify, homeowners can't be in a homeowners’ association.

    The city of Orlando has rules that prevent signs on homes, but doesn’t have restrictions on paint -- and some neighbors have big concerns about the neon colors. They worry a neon-colored home would stick out.

    But the Valdes family said looking at neon paint colors would be better than looking at a foreclosure.

    "We love our home and want to stay here and this would definitely help us stay," Valdes said.

    If the Valdes family is chosen, they said they plan to save the money they would normally give the bank each month so they can get ahead of their bills.

    The company plans to choose an Orlando homeowner next month and will pay to have that home repainted.

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    Marketing campaign offers free mortgage for select homeowners