Atlanta

Senators ask federal regulators to look into company at center of Channel 2 investigation

ATLANTA — There was action Wednesday in the nation’s Capitol related to a Channel 2 Action News investigation.

Two powerful senators sent a letter to federal regulators asking that a controversial real estate company be investigated.

Lawmakers even cited Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray’s reporting in the letter.

We know there is an open and active investigation at the Georgia Attorney General’s office on a state level into MV Realty’s 40-year listing agreements. Now, the senators are asking if MV Realty is violating federal law.

This new letter from the chairmen of two powerful US Senate committees asks regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission to “review whether these listing agreements and business practices violate federal consumer protection laws.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown is one of the authors of the letter.

“I think that any company that’s generally accused with evidence of doing what MV Realty has done, needs to have oversight from Congress and the courts,” Brown said.

It was just a week ago that Channel 2 Action News told you how attorneys general in three states – Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts -- have filed lawsuits against MV Realty.

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A series of Channel 2 Action News investigations, and a partnership with our Cox Media Group sister-stations, found homeowners complaining in cities all across the country.

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

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

Customers like Julia Henry do end up signing a 40-year listing agreement with MV Realty and the company sues if you list your home for sale elsewhere.

For a small check now, you’re bound to either sell your home with MV Realty or pay the company 3% of the value of the sale.

Channel 2 Action News checked Georgia Superior Court Clerk records and found 3,321 MV Realty homeowner agreements in 104 Georgia counties. About 2,000 of those are in metro Atlanta.

“I ask everybody, ‘Y’all know MV Realty?’ Well don’t get tied up with them. Those are some bad folks,” Henry said.

Federal agencies aren’t commenting about any possible investigations.

MV Realty continues to maintain it operates in full compliance with federal and state laws.

“MV Realty shares the same commitment to consumer protections as Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN). We welcome the opportunity to engage in discussions with policymakers and regulators to address concerns and clear up misconceptions about our business practices,” an MV Realty spokesperson said. “We believe MV Realty’s business practices comply with state and federal laws in every community where we operate.”

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