PITTSBURGH — Another state lawsuit has been filed against MV Realty, this time out of North Carolina.
The latest suit alleges the real estate brokerage firm violated state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices of lending, debt collecting and solicitation.
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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein accused the company of tricking homeowners into signing oppressive, 40-year real estate agreements.
This is something 11 Investigates uncovered in the Pittsburgh area, leading to a similar lawsuit filed by then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro last year.
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“And you feel like you’re just, you’re being taken advantage of. It’s not fair,” said Donna Zastudil, who fell victim to the company.
The Florida-based company offers homeowners quick cash in exchange for an agreement to use the company later as their listing agent. Many homeowners claim MV Realty never told them they would be locked into a 40-year commitment or that the company would place a lien on their property.
Stein released a statement on Tuesday.
“We allege that MV Realty is preying on vulnerable people to trick them into unfair, long-term agreements,” the statement read. “My office is taking them to court to put them out of business”
Other states have also filed lawsuits, including Ohio, where senators cited a series of Cox Media Group investigative reports.
“The reason we have strong consumer protection laws, but they’re often not strong enough and they’re often not enforced strictly enough, and this is an example where we need to be more aggressive,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
Stein said the Department of Justice has received more than 20 complaints from people about MV Realty’s allegedly unfair and unlawful practices, but the company said it expects those practices will be found to be perfectly lawful.
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