North Carolina attorney general sues embattled real estate company MV Realty
Embattled real estate brokerage firm MV Realty is being sued by the state of North Carolina.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has filed a lawsuit against MV Realty and the company’s leaders, alleging they violated North Carolina’s laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.
Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke has been following the investigation into MV Realty for months. The company would offer homeowners fast cash in exchange for the exclusive rights to sell their homes for 40 years.
Our office has received more than 20 complaints from people about MV Realty’s unfair and allegedly unlawful practices.
If you believe you or someone you know has been treated unlawfully by MV Realty, please file a consumer complaint with our office at https://t.co/7OJJsdEwXJ.
— NC Attorney General (@NCAGO) March 21, 2023
A release from Stein’s office states the Department of Justice has received more than 20 complaints from people about MV Realty. Stein claims the company “violated North Carolina’s laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices, usurious lending, abusive telephone solicitation practices, and unfair debt collection practices by tricking homeowners into signing oppressive, 40-year real estate agreements.”
“We allege that MV Realty is preying on vulnerable people to trick them into unfair, long-term agreements,” Stein said. “My office is taking them to court to put them out of business.”
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Other government agencies have looked into MV Realty.
The FCC took on MV Realty amid Action 9′s investigation into their deals. According to the FCC, MV Realty used at least two telecommunications companies to “flood homeowners with robocalls with misleading claims about mortgages.”
Stoogenke and other Channel 9 sister stations from across the country first reported in November on MV Realty. Since then, Attorneys General in Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have sued the company.
“Consumers need to understand there’s a lot of strings with this money ... and MV Realty’s not being upfront with them about what those strings are,” Debra Djupman Warring, with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, said.
The lawsuits aim to halt new agreements, void existing contracts, and ask the courts to order civil penalties against the company.
On Tuesday, MV Realty sent the following statement in response to the lawsuit: “MV Realty and our team of licensed real estate agents have proudly assisted over 35,000 satisfied homeowners across the country through our innovative Homeowner Benefit Agreement (HBA) program. The HBA program compensates homeowners for the future right to list the home if they choose to sell within the term of the agreement. The HBA Program is an innovative option that is first and foremost designed to benefit homeowners by ensuring they are compensated for the exclusive right to list their home. Under a traditional real estate transaction model, homeowners would enter into an exclusive 6-month listing agreement with agents who don’t provide the homeowner any payment for this exclusive right.
“If a homeowner decides to sell their home during the term of the HBA, MV’s locally licensed real estate brokers serve the same role as any licensed real estate broker and receive a 3% commission for its services pursuant to the HBA. This fee aligns with the standard market rate for virtually all residential real estate transaction commissions.
“Notably, there are no liens put on a customer’s property and the HBA does not affect or cloud the title. Consistent with the law, MV files a memorandum that simply informs third parties of the existence of the agreement between the property owner and MV Realty.
“MV Realty remains confident that the Homeowner Benefit Program fully complies with the law and benefits consumers who receive a cash incentive to select MV Realty as their listing agent. MV Realty has voluntarily and temporarily paused entering into any new agreements. “We hope to work with policy makers in North Carolina to address concerns and continue this valuable program as an option to homeowners across the state.”
Stein is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, restitution for consumers, and other monetary penalties. If you believe you have been treated unlawfully by MV Realty, you are asked to file a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
(WATCH BELOW: FCC: Embattled realty company, MV Realty, used robocalls to target homeowners)