I-TEAM: ‘Really good news for homeowners;’ New Ohio law banning new MV Realty deals takes effect

DAYTON — Ohio is now closed for new business to a troubled real estate company.

A new law took effect Tuesday making new MV Realty deals illegal in the Buckeye State.

State lawmakers credited the News Center 7 I-Team’s reporting with drawing awareness to MV’s business practices. From there, they put language targeting the company’s business model into the state’s two-year budget.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: I-TEAM: Real estate racket? Company offers homeowners quick cash in exchange for 40-year lien

“Now that something like this has finally taken effect, I think it’s really good news for homeowners and people looking to buy or sell a home,” Ohio State Representative Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) told the I-Team’s lead investigative reporter John Bedell.

Hillyer worked to get language into the state’s two-year budget.

“I know a number of representatives from western Ohio have been supportive of this measure and I can only imagine it’s due to some of the conversations surrounding this practice from your station,” he said.

In a series of I-Team investigations over the last year, we’ve reported on MV Realty and its confusing contracts.

>> RELATED: I-TEAM: Senators want answers from troubled realty company barred from making new Ohio agreements

As we’ve reported, the company offers to give you quick cash upfront. In exchange, if you sell your home, you have to use one of their agents or pay a penalty fee of three percent of your home’s value. MV seals the deal by filing a 40-year lien on the property with county recorder offices.

Since our I-Team investigations, six state attorneys general, including Dave Yost in Ohio, have sued the company. 16 states, including Ohio, have enacted new laws targeting the company’s business practices.

“It’s a big deal, John. I’m not going to lie,” Hillyer said Tuesday.

More than 700 Ohioans, including nearly 150 here in the Miami Valley, are bound by the decades-long deals they have already signed with the company.

As News Center 7 previously reported, MV filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court last month. That bankruptcy petition gives consumers across the country a central place to try and remove those 40-year liens from their properties.

“It’s not so much them getting $500 or $1,000 back – it’s that they’ve encumbered very valuable property for 40 years which is just improper from the beginning,” Scott Shuker, a bankruptcy attorney, said.

>> RELATED: I-Team: MV Realty files for bankruptcy amid controversy regarding 40-year listing agreements

Now, thanks to the new law, from here on out MV Realty will not be able to sign up any more Ohioans to its questionable contracts.

“So the elderly and the poor that are often signing these agreements without understanding them aren’t going to be taken advantage of,” Hillyer said.

The I-Team continues to reach out to MV Realty. We did not receive a response from them today.

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