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Thread: Real-Life Real Estate Bastards On Parade

  1. #1
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    Real-Life Real Estate Bastards On Parade

    So here we are having moved up to Seattle. We're staying in temporary housing, which is nice and all, but we don't have any of our crap and our kids are kind of climbing the walls. We're VERY incented to find a place to live -- specifically, a 12-month lease on a house of some sort.

    We got a rental tour nine days ago. A beautiful Saturday. First house on the list, really really nice place in north Redmond, exactly the neighborhood we wanted, great floorplan, we were totally into it. House was listed as "for sale or rent whichever comes first" (it'd been for sale for months and they just dropped the price and put it up for rent at the same time). We got in the first rental offer on it. They confirmed that we had the first offer, and said it was all good -- the house was ours. We were extremely psyched... only one house, and a total winner! Our agent was happy, everyone happy.

    We signed the lease a few days later. Apparently the owner's wife was in Singapore, so there was a delay in signing the lease on their end. In retrospect that should have been a huge red flag. They were supposed to sign on Saturday, but they rescheduled to Monday (e.g. yesterday).

    Yesterday they told our agent they needed to reschedule AGAIN. She was like, what the fuck, and she pushed back. Then it came out that the motherfuckers got an offer to buy sometime last week, and had been working through contingencies for the last several days, WITHOUT TELLING US. And sure enough, they wound up giving us the boot yesterday. So we completely wasted nine days because these swine bastards flat out lied to us.

    In the grand scheme of things, this is dealable. We're not out any money and we're gonna find another reasonable place. But still, it sucks to be deceived and to have lost a house we were really excited about. Moral for us: never, ever give someone a week to sign. If they don't sign in one or two days, tell them to fuck right off.

    So this thread is about lying real estate fucking scumbags. Post your worst horror stories here plzkthxbai!!!!!
    Last edited by RepoMan; 04-22-2008 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    When we sold our first house in Connecticut, the buyers low balled us on the offer, and we accepted after some negotiation. However, it turned out that they didn't have the financing right away, so they pushed back the closing.

    By this time, we'd gotten a bridge loan, and had taken up residence at the new house. By pushing back the closing (by 60 days), we were forced to spend 2 months paying 2 mortgages. Suddenly, we were looking at getting cash advances and asking relatives for grocery money.

    Nearing the new closing date, we were starting to breathe easier. Things were going to complete, and we were going to get out of this mess with only some minor damage to our credit (holding bill collectors off with a stick, etc). Then their lawyer calls our lawyer, and says: "Sorry, we still couldn't secure funding, but we have a signed contract with you, and if you try and cancel the deal, we'll sue you. So, we're pushing back the closing another 20 days." We agreed to it on the terms that they drop any complaints on the condition of the house (it was a 100 year old house, and had some problems).

    We struggled through those last 20 days, warning the kids that since it was getting to be December, we may have some trouble getting them anything for Christmas. They were pretty understanding about the whole thing.

    On the day of the closing, the buyer shows up in my lawyer's office. My lawyer and his secretary decide to tell her that they've got a lot of paperwork to settle before they can assemble the documents for the closing, apologize profusely, but if she could just wait there in the waiting room for a bit, it won't be too long. She ends up waiting there for an hour. My lawyer? He's sitting in his office with the TV turned up loudly, occasionally asking his secretary out in the front office if she knew the number for a sandwich place, or something like that.

    I love that guy. I send him holiday cards every year, now.

  3. #3
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    When my wife and I were buying our first house about 12 years ago, we'd settled on a nice little split level in an older neighborhood. We made our offer, went back and forth a little on pricing, then agreed to a deal and sent our earnest money over with our agent who was supposed to return with contracts the next day. We celebrate accordingly.

    Within a couple of hours we get a call from their agent saying the deal is off. They have an offer for more money all of the sudden, and they won't even bargain with us. The agent says "We will return your earnest money in the next couple of days.". My response is "The fuck you will. You will get in your car and drive that check back to my house tonight or I'll call my attorney. No deal means no money, and I don't trust your clients with my check if they're not selling me their house." She wasn't happy, but she did deliver the check back to us that night.

    Turns out the other offer was from their agent's sister, whom the agent had been pushing to buy the house all along. While there was no signed contract yet, and hence no legal deal, it was pretty damn underhanded of the agent to basically sell us the house, going so far as to collect earnest money and draw up contracts, then go and tell her sister she could still have the house if she acted within 24 hours and ponied up more money. I'm sure the sellers were happy. Turns out it was all for the better though, as we got a larger house for less money in a better neighborhood only a week later, and the house we "lost" ended up having some issues that were not disclosed to us originally.

  4. #4
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    "Some issues" sounds downright sinister. Pet cementery? Undead indiam hamsters?

  5. #5
    New Romantic
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    That agent probably violated some ethics rules in your state. Still, if it all worked out for the best, it may not have been worth pursuing.

  6. #6
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    In this economy in this housing market an offer to buy is always going to trump an offer to rent.

    Sorry the situation was inconvenient for you but try to see it from their perspective...they may have just saved themselves tens of thousands of dollars and lots of hardship by finding a buyer.

    Being a home seller right now is not fun at all.

  7. #7
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    So after way to long, we finally get a closing date on selling our house (already had a new house and bridge loans and yuckiness.) Closing gets scheduled the day we are out of town for a wedding - we give our lawyer power of attorney and all that, and that's not a problem and that's all fine.

    So, closing doesn't happen though - our mortgage company, unlike any mortgage company our lawyer or agent has ever worked with, says they need a week to send a payoff statement, which they didn't get asked for in time for closing. Whatever - everything else is done, so the final closing gets pushed back a week. No problem - it's pretty well just filing paperwork.

    Closing comes up. One hour before the time, the buyer pulls out, surprising everyone - including the buyer's agent and lawyer. Supposedly in that week between closings, they found a cheaper place to buy.

    Then the former buyer, ups the douchebaggery, and demands and threatens to sue to get their deposit back. According to the terms of our P&S (standard terms), that deposit goes to us unless they void the contract for reasons covered in the contract (they couldn't get funding, for instance.) The buyer's lawyer wouldn't touch that, so they apparently had to shop around for a lawyer that would.

    Whatever the case, it's clear to us that if we go to court, we'll easily get all of the deposit. Except, this will take months and months or a year or whatever, and we can't sell the house during that time for some damn reason. We really, really don't want those fraking buyers to get away with it. But, we have to clear it out, so we can sell the freaking house that has a mortgage and bridge loan on it, and we have to settle for like 50% of the deposit.

    On the up side, our lawyer doesn't charge us for any of this, because he's really pissed off too.
    Last edited by Tnylr; 04-22-2008 at 03:41 PM. Reason: fix linebreaks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoofyChop View Post
    Being a home seller right now is not fun at all.
    Tell me about it. Write me a book, why don't you!

    I don't have a problem with them taking the other offer. I do have a problem with them not being fucking upfront about it. It's not like they were going to have any problems finding another renter. But instead, they wasted nine days of our life just in case their other offer fell through. WEAKITY McFUCKING WEAK.

  9. #9
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    I don't know if anyone but me will find this interesting, but this is real estate agent douchebaggery (great word, Tnylr!) at its finest. This was a case I was involved in a few months ago, and I made sure a reporter from The Tennessean found out about it. The critical facts, which aren't very clear from the story, are that the agent proposed to buy this woman's house, which she owned almost free and clear, for what she owed on it (low 30Ks) and then sell it back to her for $128K a couple of years later. She was to rent it from him in the meantime.

    Oh, and the sale contract? Almost completely illegible.


    Martha Crutcher had to make a decision.

    She was behind on her $30,000 home equity loan. She had a letter from a law firm that said her house would be sold at a foreclosure auction Nov. 9. And she had letters from companies that said they could help her keep her south Nashville home or even get rid of all her debt.

    "It felt like I was sitting there drowning, and they threw me a life preserver," she said.

    Crutcher, fair housing and lending advocates say, was the ideal mark for a growing business born out of the expanding number of home loan defaults: foreclosure rescue scams. These go beyond legitimate lending practices and typically result in victims paying thousands before ultimately losing their homes.

    The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee used to get 10 to 12 calls a month about such scams, managing attorney David Tarpley said. Now the office gets about five to 10 a week.

    RealtyTrac Inc. a real estate data service reported 5,762 Nashville-area homes in foreclosure through September, up 43 percent over the same period last year.On Thursday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported the nation's foreclosure activity reached a record high during the third quarter.

    Housing advocates fear the number of potential foreclosure rescue victims could be staggering.There's no way to track how many people are scammed because some seek private help or never report it at all.
    "What we are talking about is literally thousands of people who may be receiving and responding to these offers every day," said Tracey McCartney, executive director of the Tennessee Fair Housing Council. "And people will do things when they are desperate that are not in their best interest. You just aren't thinking that clearly, and you're being circled by vultures."

    McCartney, who handled Crutcher's case, said foreclosure rescuers comb newspaper listings of homes due to be sold at auction, looking for victims. Tennessee law requires such legal notices.

    Legal Aid has fought only a few home foreclosure rescue cases, Tarpley said.

    "They require a lot and can get into some very big, very deep issues," he said. "No one is going to admit that they have scammed your client. They are all going to say that this is a matter of free enterprise, your client was free to do what he or she did and there's nothing wrong with making a profit."

    Ownership endangered

    Crutcher, being cash poor and house rich, made an ideal rescue customer.
    In 2003, she was living in a Nashville homeless shelter with her two children and trying to control her bipolar disorder with medication. She purchased an $89,000 south Nashville home outright after receiving an unexpected inheritance her mother was killed in an accident.

    During what Crutcher said was a period of "euphoria," she took out a $30,000 home equity loan hoping to pay off a few bills and make critical home repairs. She made the $381 payments for about three years, and her propertyvalue rose to $105,600, according to a 2005 appraisal.
    Then this summer, Crutcher's life went into a tailspin. She got pneumonia and missed about two months of work. By October, Crutcher was nearly three months behind on her home equity loan and deeply depressed. A law firm's foreclosure letter arrived.

    "I came home one day, and somebody had stuck a Post-It note on my door that said, 'We have money and can help you,' " Crutcher said. "When you are desperate, that's pretty hard to ignore."

    Crutcher called Mark Haining, who had sent one of the many letters. She said he offered to buy the house and enter a lease-to-purchase arrangement. The contract Haining brought over to sign was blank, Crutcher said, but she got the missing details later: $600 a month for the lease and $128,000 to buy the house back. If she missed one payment, she would lose the chance to buy.

    Haining said he couldn't remember whether he brought a blank lease over for Crutcher to sign.

    Haining said he was set to pay $34,000 for the house, repairs and what he describes as a one-time subsidy to help Crutcher make the lease. He said the offer was in good faith and couldn't be characterized as a scam.
    "The service we offer is that our clients get to keep a roof over their heads and if they want, repurchase their home," he said.

    But Crutcher's boss found out about the deal and contacted the Tennessee Fair Housing Council, which squelched it before the closing. McCartney and her boss worked together to get her past-due payments caught up and work with the original lender to stop the foreclosure.

    Phone call can be costly

    In addition to lease-purchase agreements with terms the original homeowner can't meet, some foreclosure rescuers promise to make calls or take other actions that can "delay" a foreclosure, advocates say.
    They may call the mortgage company and say the homeowner is going to file for bankruptcy, which can delay the foreclosure 30 to 60 days. It's a call the homeowner could make himself, and sometimes the rescuer never makes the call at all. The money paid the rescuer could have been used toward back payments.

    Others use bait-and-switch operations in which homeowners are not told that they are surrendering ownership by taking the rescue loan.

    "There are a range of 'rescue' products out there that are not in and of themselves illegal, just deeply deceptive and only make a bad financial situation worse," McCartney said. "Given what so many Americans are facing, people need to be aware, be very aware."

  10. #10
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    Blank contracts. Damn. Some people just deserve to get the Dorian Gray treatment: to be turned into the crippled monsters their evil souls truly are.

  11. #11
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    And they've already been through the Pickman process, of course.

    Dorian Gray's fate is kind of ambiguous as a doom to wish on someone you dislike. He had a long and prosperous life of youth and evil. He died at the end, sure, but everyone does.

  12. #12
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    Doesn't the UCC require that contracts for sales of goods over $500 in value be in writing? How does a blank contract jive with the Statute of Frauds? Or is real property excepted?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniscia View Post
    Doesn't the UCC require that contracts for sales of goods over $500 in value be in writing? How does a blank contract jive with the Statute of Frauds? Or is real property excepted?
    IF the real estate agent in the story (Haining) were to have the balls to sue for specific performance, I suspect that issue would come up, as would the general unconscionability of the deal. So far no one has heard a peep.

  14. #14
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    I heard a story the other day about an attorney (who shall remain nameless) who allegedly offered to purchase a property from some folks, allegedly verbally promised they would be granted a life estate in the property and that the attorney wouldn't assert their ownership interest (I'm skipping around gender,here) until the occupants moved or deceased. It was only after signing the deed that the occupants discovered there was no such life estate, and soon thereafter that the attorney kicked them out. It's too bad they didn't read it beforehand.

    I'd love to get some substantiation as to these allegations, as this particular attorney has oft exhibited what some may take to be thuggish, dishonest, threatening, harassing behavioral tendencies not befitting their profession.

  15. #15
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    Dude, I'm soooo confused. You're asking this forum for substantiation to allegations that some specific unknown attorney has been a complete cockmonger to some other unknown victims at some unknown time in the past? When no one else here, as far as I know, knows what the fuck you are talking about?

    Something about this is very strange indeed. I can only assume that you're talking about someone who actually posts here (either victim or the actual swine attorney).

    OK, WHICH ONE OF YOU RATFUCKERS IS THE LYING BASTARD SCUM OMNISCIA IS TALKING ABOUT? COME ON, FESS UP, OR I'LL STUFF YOU DOWN THE BACK OF DATTER'S PANTS!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unicorn McGriddle View Post
    Dorian Gray's fate is kind of ambiguous as a doom to wish on someone you dislike. He had a long and prosperous life of youth and evil. He died at the end, sure, but everyone does.
    What I meant to say was that some people deserve to have that happen to them immediately, rather than after it's too late to matter.

  17. #17
    World's End Supernova
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    COME ON, FESS UP, OR I'LL STUFF YOU DOWN THE BACK OF DATTER'S PANTS!
    Best meme in a long time. Awesome.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniscia View Post
    Doesn't the UCC require that contracts for sales of goods over $500 in value be in writing? How does a blank contract jive with the Statute of Frauds? Or is real property excepted?
    Hell, the statute of frauds has a specific requirement for writings when sales of land are involved.

    Of course like many other areas of the law, most people do not understand the nuances of this and the various ways in which it can be somewhat vitiated (e.g. admitting to the contract or that there was a writing, etc.).

    I'm not a statute of frauds guru by any means, but remember it well enough to know that it is not just a simple matter of saying no writing - there can be other facts that cause problems.

  19. #19
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    I for one am shocked, SHOCKED!, to find out that some real estate "professionals" have less than ideal morals.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerri blank View Post
    She purchased an $89,000 south Nashville home outright after receiving an unexpected inheritance her mother was killed in an accident.

    During what Crutcher said was a period of "euphoria," she took out a $30,000 home equity loan
    My god people are stupid. It takes a special kind of person to get foreclosed on a house they bought for cash.

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