ATLANTA — A Channel 2 Action News investigation has helped change Georgia law.
This week, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that outlaws a key part of the controversial real estate deals which Channel 2 Action News Investigates exposed in a series of stories.
At our last check, MV Realty had well over 3,000 liens filed with court clerks across Georgia. With this new law, it’s now illegal for MV to file any more of those liens.
The company has used the liens to strong-arm homeowners into paying them thousands of dollars on the sale of their homes.
The bill’s author state Rep. Clint Crowe, a real estate broker himself, told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray that he hopes the newly signed law runs MV Realty out of Georgia.
“Anybody’s going to come in and do this and take advantage of folks and do it in a profession that also has our name attached to it, I’d rather see them. Do business somewhere else,” Crowe said.
We’ve told you in a series of Channel 2 Action News Investigates stories about MV Realty and its 40-year listing agreements.
- New law will protect consumers from 40-year contracts at center of Channel 2 investigations
- Bill that would have stopped 40-year liens gets new life in Georgia Senate
- Bill to outlaw 40-year listings moves forward at State Capitol after series of Channel 2 reports
- 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
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.
The new Georgia law does not ban the 40-year contracts but does prevent the liens MV uses to enforce them.
Last November, we introduced you to Ira Dorin. MV Realty placed a lien on the sale of his Cobb County home and sued him to block the sale.
“He served me papers right there in front of my kids,” Dorin said. “I had to pay MV Realty over $9,000.”
The new Georgia law will outlaw liens like the one that forced Dorin to pay out thousands of dollars.
“What they won’t have the opportunity to do is hold somebody hostage when they’re trying to liquidate this asset, sell this home,” Crowe said.
Since our investigations, five state attorneys general have filed lawsuits against MV Realty.
Now, Georgia is one of the very first states in the country to change the law
“I don’t feel like they ever wanted to or intended to list these properties. They had no desire to do that. All they wanted to do was get somebody locked into when they went to sell it, they had to deal with them first. And this prevents them from being able to do that,” Crowe said.
The law goes into effect in 2024.
It does not impact those liens already on the books, but there is also still an open and active investigation by the state attorney general’s office.
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