A COUPLE have warned homeowners about promises "to get rich quick" with equity release schemes.
Tony and Noreen Halstead say they were offered just half the market value of their home.
The couple, of Newsome Road South, Berry Brow, considered selling their home to a company.
After doing so they would receive a lump sum, then pay monthly rent.
Noreen, 56, is a part-time cleaner and cares for her severely disabled son, Stephen Parsons, who is 30.
Tony, 47, had a stroke last year and hopes to continue as a bus driver soon.
They were hoping the nest egg from the house would buy a seaside caravan.
But they were shocked at the offer from the home equity release scheme.
Their two-bedroomed semi had been independently valued at £127,000.
But National Homebuyers, of Sussex, offered them £60,000, with rent of between £400 and £500 a month.
Noreen said: "We thought they were bona fide. But the amount they offered is just not fair."
A National Homebuyers spokes- man said: "The property was independently valued at £98,000 for a quick sale on the open market.
"Reports show a slow market in that area and the property was of `average' external condition and construction.
"The independent survey suggests that only if marketed at a `realistic price' could Mr Halstead expect to complete within six months.
"We offered to have a further survey done.
He refused to have this carried out, so we cannot assist him further."