Beware PayPal And The Government

I’m getting a new website set up for a new mobile home park. I wanted to accept PayPal payments so that my tenants could pay that way. (They rarely do - other than when they are just about to be evicted. At that point, the often tap a relative’s credit card to pay their rent.) In signing up with PayPal, they asked for what sort of business I was. They did not have ‘real estate’ or any sort of ‘rental’ as a choice, so I (foolishly) selected ‘finance,’ which seemed to be the next-closest description.

The PayPal compliance department then sent me a request to read my rent-to-own leases!

It is scary when the government intrudes in our lives to the extent they’ve got some bureaucrat at PayPal looking at websites and wanting such private documentation. We don’t even do RTO. So beware of doing business with PayPal - certainly don’t describe yourself as being in ‘finance’ if you choose to accept rent payments from them on your website.

It is best to not RTO because, although there is no case law, some attorneys feel RTO agreements are ‘mortgages’ (even though they are not - tenants can walk away at any time without any negative impact to their credit).

We’ve moved to rent credit agreements (more like green stamps than RTO-ing - the credits are redeemable for any home), and because they to not attach to any specific home, they are further away from anything the government’s prying eyes might deem a ‘mortgage.’


Make a CafePress tee shirt or coffee mug for the park with the park logo on it and put it on your website and tell PP that you are in the business of selling merchandise.