ATLANTA — A Channel 2 Action News Investigation is getting results in the Georgia General Assembly.
A bill passed committee Wednesday in the state House of Representatives that would essentially outlaw the controversial 40-year Homeowner Benefit Agreements that MV Realty has signed thousands of Georgians up for.
Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray has been investigating and reporting on concerns with those MV Realty contracts for nearly 2 years.
House Bill 472 passed unanimously out of committee and now moves to the full House of Representatives for a vote.
In November 2022 in a Channel 2 Action News Investigation, we introduced you to Ira Dorin. He was sued by MV Realty.
“He served me papers right there in front of my kids,” Dorin said.
MV Realty placed a lien on this sale of his Cobb County home and sued him to block the sale.
“I had to pay MV Realty over $9,000,” Dorin said.
- Metro homeowners locked into 40-year contracts with real estate company
- Lawsuit filed against company accused of luring homeowners into 40-year commitment with quick cash
- 2 more states file suits against realty company that trades quick cash for 40-year listing agreement
- FCC deals major blow to company accused of duping homeowners into 40-year-listing agreements
The newly proposed Georgia law would end liens like the one that forced Dorin to pay out thousands of dollars.
“So that practice of taking a lien on someone’s home would be banned for this type of contract,” said Sarah Mancini, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.
In a series of Channel 2 Action News Investigates stories, Gray has reported on MV Realty and its 40-year listing agreements.
Debbie Chasteen signed an MV realty contract in June.
“I just want the contract torn up and gotten rid of,” Chasteen said. “I don’t want anybody to have to go through what I’ve been through with this.”
Since our investigations began airing, there have been lawsuits launched by Attorneys General in three states against MV Realty and enforcement action taken by the FCC.
This week, the company announced that it has “voluntarily temporarily suspended entering into new customers contracts as we work to address the concerns raised by regulators and legislators.”
A company spokesperson said, “The company remains confident that the homeowner benefit program fully complies with the law.”
“I think it is a huge win for consumers to have this business practice stopped,” Mancini said.
INVESTIGATIONS BY OUR SISTER STATIONS ON MV REALTY:
- Former MV Realty employee explains how company used ‘deceptive’ robocalls to target homeowners
- Florida sues realty company and reality-star founder for ‘swindling’ homeowners across U.S.
- Senators call on consumer protection agencies to investigate exclusive real estate listing agreement
- Florida Attorney General takes action against real estate company Action 9 first investigated last year
- Mass. AG sues Florida-based real estate company for “predatory” practices
Now here in Georgia, lawmakers are looking to change the law, to clearly outlaw these type of contracts going forward.
“What this bill would do is essentially cut off the spigot for them to make more deals,” said the bill’s sponsor Republican State Rep. Clive Crowe.
The bill is on a tight timeline. Crossover Day is March 6, so it essentially has to pass the House by then to get to the Senate and have a chance at becoming law this year.
Also this week, a Massachusetts Judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking all MV Realty activity in that state until the conclusion of a lawsuit there.
It is the first time a court has taken action in several lawsuits MV Realty is facing.
©2023 Cox Media Group