North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed suit against real estate brokerage firm MV Realty Tuesday.
The lawsuit alleges the company violated state laws through unfair and deceptive practices, outrageous lending, abusive telephone solicitations, and unfair debt collection practices by tricking homeowners into signing a 40-year real estate agreement.
Troubleshooter Diane Wilson first investigated MV Realty and its practices last year. MV Realty's Homeowner Benefit Program caught Maria Calder's attention. The program offers quick cash, in exchange for a forty-year agreement on your home, if you ever want to sell it.
Calder got the cash from MV Realty and did eventually sell her home, but through another real estate company. Even though MV Realty didn't sell her home, they still got more than $6,000 at closing due to that forty-year agreement. Stein says it's that agreement that is unlawful.
"We allege that MV Realty is preying on vulnerable people to trick them into unfair, long-term agreements. My office is taking them to court to put them out of business."
A company spokesperson for MV Realty said in part, "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."
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The company's statement goes on to state, "We hope to work with policymakers in North Carolina to address concerns and continue this valuable program as an option to homeowners across the state."
The Department of Justice has received more than twenty complaints from people about MV Realty. Stein's office is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against MV Realty, restitution for consumers, and other monetary penalties.
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