I-TEAM: Proposed legislation could change how MV Realty conducts business in Ohio

DAYTON — There could be big changes on the way for how a troubled real estate company does business in Ohio.

MV Realty is the company that has been locking Miami Valley homeowners into confusing, 40-year contracts.

>> RELATED COVERAGE: I-TEAM: MV Realty customer wants her contract ‘tore up’ after company halts new agreements

News Center 7′s I-Team reporting focused on MV Realty has prompted all kinds of change. Ohio has now become the latest of several states to introduce proposed legislation that would shorten the length of MV Realty’s decades-long listing agreements or outlaw the company’s business practices altogether.

Ohio’s proposal is not its own bill; instead, its language that was put into the state’s operating budget. If it becomes law, the bill follows model legislation from the American Land Title Association (ALTA), making it easier for state lawmakers to tackle this issue.

Ohio’s law would make MV Realty agreements unenforceable and unrecordable on the property rolls at county recorder officers.

>>RELATED COVERAGE: I-TEAM: MV Realty halts entering into new agreements to address ‘concerns’ about contracts

Right now, that’s how the deals are filed. However, Ohio’s version would not impact existing deals or invalidate those contracts.

The I-Team searched property records that show more than 700 Ohioans are existing MV Realty customers.

News Center 7′s I-Team lead investigative reporter, John Bedell, spoke with Representative Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville), who worked to get this language into the budget, asking what people should do if they are on the hook with this company.

“Well, as an attorney, I would advise them to go with an attorney that specializes in this area, see what their options are,” Hillyer said.

>> RELATED COVERAGE: I-Team: Ohio AG announces lawsuit against MV Realty, founder, broker for ‘misleading’ customers

Hillyer went on to further say, “We need to stop the bleeding before this put this proliferates into, you know, real estate transactions across all 88 counties and this language does that. Once we do that, maybe we can take a look at ways to help alleviate the concerns for individuals as they move forward.”

In a statement sent to the I-Team, a spokesperson for MV Realty said:

“MV supports the adoption of legislation that provides comprehensive oversight and licensure of participants in the marketplace. Any legislation should clearly spell out prohibited practices and outline specific terms that are transparent and easy to read in the language of the individual involved in the agreement.

The bill the American Land Title Association is advocating for would rob homeowners of a valuable asset - the right to be compensated for providing a licensed realtor the listing of their home. Put simply – this bill will take money out of homeowners pockets and protect giant title insurance companies from their own negligence.

Instead we hope to work with lawmakers to adopt legislation that would allow for the effective oversight and prevention of abuses and consumer protection, while allowing homeowners the option to be compensated for providing a licensed realtor the listing of their home.”

The I-Team will continue to follow this proposed legislation and let you know if this language ends up in the final version of the state budget that Governor DeWine signs into law.

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