TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a complaint against MV Realty on Tuesday for “deceptive, unfair and unconscionable business practices,” a release from Moody’s office said.
Action News Jax Investigates told you earlier this month about homeowners who signed up for quick cash through MV Realty say they didn’t know about a 40-year commitment that places a lien on their property.
MV Realty, a Florida-based business, offers $300-$5,000 to homeowners in exchange to use the company as an exclusive listing broker if they should ever sell their home.
“However, after accepting the payment, homeowners discover that MV Realty files a 40-year lien on the property that requires paying 3% of the value of the home to MV Realty, regardless of whether the company ever provides any real estate listing services,” the release from Moody’s office states.
Action News Jax teamed up with our sister stations in 7 other states and found two other states’ Attorneys General are investigating MV Realty.
Moody said in the release, “For many Floridians their home is their most important asset and the cornerstone of their financial stability. For a company to prey on unsuspecting homeowners in a way that locks them into a 40-year obligation designed to siphon away equity from the property is disgraceful. Today, I filed legal action to end this deceitful practice and protect Florida homeowners from further harm.”
Moody’s office said what is not clearly disclosed to homeowners that sign up with MV Realty is that the company records a lien on the home so that if at any time within 40 years the home is foreclosed upon or transferred to heirs upon the homeowner’s death, or if homeowners simply wish to cancel the deal, MV Realty attempts to take 3% of the home’s value.
MV Realty’s liens can make it difficult for homeowners to refinance or tap into their home’s equity, Moody’s office said.
“Additionally, the company uses abusive and deceptive telemarketing practices, including calling millions of people on the National Do-Not-Call Registry and leaving millions of unwanted, pre-recorded voicemails,” the release said.
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Moody’s action seeks to end enforcement of MV Realty’s contracts with consumers, end future deceptive and unfair practices, return the money she says MV Realty wrongfully took from homeowners and impose civil penalties for the company’s “willful violations of the law.”
MV Realty released the following statement in response to the complaint:
“Earlier today, the Florida Attorney General issued a press release stating she filed a complaint against MV Realty. Our attorney is reviewing the complaint. MV Realty has helped more than 30,000 satisfied clients across the country and in Florida through our Homeowner Benefit Program. Our company is proud to employ hundreds of locally licensed real estate agents, including many in Florida. MV Realty has always been committed to transparency in all of our business transactions, and we are confident that any inquiry will confirm that our team has operated in full compliance with the law.”