Florida Sues MV Realty For FDUTPA Violations
MV Realty is a real estate firm located in Florida. It operates in a number of different U.S. states. The company is now facing a lawsuit from the Office of the Attorney General of Florida. In a civil complaint filed in a Hillsborough County Court, state regulators allege that MV Realty has violated consumer rights under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).
The lawsuit is centered around the company’s controversial practice of trying to pay homeowners cash now in exchange for 40-year exclusive “right to list” contracts. Here, our Miami deceptive & unfair commercial practice attorney explains the allegations in more detail and discusses your rights under the FDUTPA.
Allegations: MV Realty Engaged in Complex Scheme to Swindle Homeowners Out of Equity
As stated in the complaint filed by the Office of the Attorney General of Florida, MV Realty was engaged in a complex scheme of deception aimed at “swindling consumers out of their home
Equity.” State officials allege violations of the FDUTPA. According to the complaint, MV Realty offered homeowners in Florida—and in other jurisdictions—so-called “loan alternatives” of $3,000 to $5,000. The cash was paid upfront to the homeowners. In exchange for the “loan alternative”, the homeowner had to sign a 40-year “right to list” contract with the company.
The agreement also contained a clause for a three percent home value penalty fee if the homeowner, or their heirs, listed the property with any other agent. The Office of the Attorney General of Florida contends that the contract was “unfair and unconscionable.” Through aggressive telemarketing and complex contract language, MV Realty was effectively obtaining a significant share of the homeowners equity in exchange for a relatively modest upfront payment. Any homeowner with sufficient equity to qualify for MV Realty’s “loan alternative” could almost certainly get a traditional home equity line of credit with far better terms.
Notably, the civil complaint filed by the Office of the Attorney General of Florida states that 32 other state regulators are also currently taking enforcement action against MV Realty for consumer protection violations.
Consumers and Business Can Sue for Deceptive and Unfair Practices
The FDUTPA is among the most vital consumer protection laws in Florida. It strictly prohibits commercial entities from engaging in deceptive or otherwise unfair conduct. As the statute contains what is known as a “private right of action”, it allows individual consumers and businesses to file a lawsuit to seek damages for any actual losses caused by an FDUTPA violation, including things like false advertising, material misrepresentation, and failure to disclose important information.
Consult With a FDUTPA Attorney in Miami-Dade County
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our South Florida deceptive & unfair commercial practices attorneys work tirelessly to provide the highest level of legal representation to our clients. If you have any questions about an FDUTPA claim, we can help. Call us today for a confidential consultation. We represent individuals, businesses, and organizations in Miami-Dade County and throughout South Florida.