Atlanta

Bill to stop ‘predatory contracts’ expected to be voted on after series of Channel 2 investigations

ATLANTA — Legislation that would outlaw controversial property liens is expected to be voted on by the full Georgia House on Monday, after passing unanimously out of committee last week.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray has reported on the contracts by MV Realty for nearly two years and its 40-year listing agreements.

You get a small check now, but a big penalty later – 3% of the value of your home if you don’t use them to sell your house.

It is as hard for lawmakers at the State Capitol to comprehend as it has been for the Georgians we’ve been introducing you to in a series of Channel 2 Action News investigations.

Julia Henry was sued by MV realty after the company placed a lien for thousands of dollars on her home.

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“Would you ever sign a 40-year contract?” Gray asked Henry.

“No. No, I would never do that. No,” she said.

State Rep. Clint Crowe told Gray that his legislation does not specifically outlaw the 40-year deals but does ban those liens that make it easy for MV Realty to go after homeowners.

“We’re stopping the lien process so that these folks aren’t held up and basically strongarmed into having to pay them to have to sell their property,” Crowe said.

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.

Now Crowe’s bill, which passed out of committee unanimously last week, would prohibit a key part of what he calls predatory contracts here in Georgia.

INVESTIGATIONS BY OUR SISTER STATIONS ON MV REALTY:

“This is a way to kind of cut off the spigot so to speak and keep this from happening until we can come up with a resolution from the Attorney General’s Office as to what their resolution is,” Crowe said.

“And you’d hope they are looking at this very strongly as well?” Gray asked Crowe.

“I would and I believe they are,” Crowe said.

The Georgia Attorney General’s investigation remains open and active.

The bill is expected to be up for a vote at some point before midnight.

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