BOSTON—Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a civil complaint against a real estate company offering Massachusetts homeowners hundreds of dollars upfront in exchange for a 40-year lien on their mortgage.
The complaint for injunctive and monetary relief against Florida-based MV Realty was filed Tuesday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. Moody’s office is asking Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit to refrain from enforcing MV Realty’s contracts with consumers, prevent future deceptive and unfair practices and return the money “defendants wrongfully took from homeowners and impose civil penalties for Defendants’ willful violations of the law.”
“Defendants offer homeowners $300-$5,000 as a cash loan alternative in exchange for an agreement to use the company as an exclusive listing broker. However, after accepting the payment, homeowners discover that MV Realty files a 40-year lien on the property that requires paying 3% of the value of the home to MV Realty, regardless of whether the company ever provides any real estate listing services,” Moody’s office said in a statement.
MV Realty describes itself as a real estate brokerage in Delray Beach business that operates in 33 states, according to its website. The company advertises its Homeowner Benefit Program as an “innovative approach” that “offers a great way to receive quick cash without taking out a loan, paying interest, or having monthly payments.”
“If you’re a homeowner, we can offer you a cash incentive of up to $5,000—a percentage of the estimated value of your home—in exchange for a 40-year agreement to use MV Realty as your listing agent—if and when you decide to sell your home,” the website says.
Massachusetts property records show dozens of homeowners have signed agreements with MV Realty since 2021. However, a joint-investigation by Boston 25 and its Cox Media Group sister-stations discovered attorneys general in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina have opened investigations into the company’s business practices.
Sec. of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, who oversees most land records in Massachusetts, said his office is “very interested” in finding out if MV Realty is “engaging in predatory practices.”
“I have significant concerns about what they’re doing,” Galvin said.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office told Boston 25 they’re aware of MV Realty’s business practices, but couldn’t comment further.
Florida is one of the first states to take civil action against the company.
“For many Floridians their home is their most important asset and the cornerstone of their financial stability. For a company to prey on unsuspecting homeowners in a way that locks them into a 40-year obligation designed to siphon away equity from the property is disgraceful. Today, I filed legal action to end this deceitful practice and protect Florida homeowners from further harm,” Moody said in a statement.
Wednesday night, MV Realty spokesperson Diana London released a statement to Boston 25 News:
“Earlier today, the Florida Attorney General issued a press release stating she filed a complaint against MV Realty. Our attorney is reviewing the complaint. MV Realty has helped more than 30,000 satisfied clients across the country and in Florida through our Homeowner Benefit Program. Our company is proud to employ hundreds of locally licensed real estate agents, including many in Florida. MV Realty has always been committed to transparency in all of our business transactions, and we are confident that any inquiry will confirm that our team has operated in full compliance with the law.”
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