DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HomeVestors of America, the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, is cautioning home buyers against unscrupulous practices and lender fraud when purchasing a house. As the largest professional house buying franchise in the country, HomeVestors has over 800 franchises who have bought more than 75,000 houses since 1996, working exclusively with its franchisees that abide by the company’s high business systems and standards.
“A former franchise owner in Colorado, whom we stopped working with in 2011, recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud, committed after her franchise ended, which compelled us to remind our franchises of our zero-tolerance policy towards this kind of unprincipled activity,” said David Hicks, HomeVestors co-president. “We have long had a history of condemning any illegal behavior from our current and former franchises, and incorporate information on ethical consumer relations as part of UG University, which all of our new franchises attend before operating in the field. We are also vigilant in investigating and rooting out any illegal schemes and underhanded methods that could jeopardize our brand and risk the independently owned and operated business of our franchises.”
For other independent house buyers that don’t have the benefit of an in-depth “We Buy Ugly Houses” education, it may be trickier to spot the signs of someone who doesn’t hold to such standards. Hicks warns against some of the common indications of fraud, which “We Buy Ugly Houses” buyers are cautioned against, including:
- Contracts negotiated by a real estate agent, another rehabber, mortgage broker or other person with the purchase price raised above asking price. This can be a device to create a phantom down payment, or to create an artificially lower loan-to-value ratio.
- False owner occupant statements, where a false representation is made to the lender about the buyer’s intent to occupy a property.
- “Straw Buyer” schemes using the good credit, job history and qualifications of a person who has no involvement with a property in order to secure a mortgage loan against a property.
- False appraisals and false values where rehabbers may induce appraisers to distort numbers in their favor. HomeVestors cautions franchises from using the same appraiser time after time or attempting to befriend an appraiser to avoid the appearance of untoward behavior.
“It is always better to lose the deal than to participate in lender fraud, even innocently,” added Hicks. “The future of the market, and of any investor or buyer purchasing real estate, depends on the example of those setting the trends, like ‘We Buy Ugly Houses.’ We have been beautifying neighborhoods, and helping individuals and families get out of ugly situations for more than 20 years.”
HomeVestors began franchising two decades ago in 1996, and recently purchased its 75,000th house. The original “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, HomeVestors franchisees purchase approximately 8,000 homes each year in 120 markets.
About HomeVestors of America, Inc.
Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the largest professional house buying franchise in the U.S., with more than 75,000 houses bought since 1996. HomeVestors® recruits, trains and supports its over 800 independently owned and operated franchisees that specialize in building businesses based on buying, rehabbing, selling and holding residential properties. Most commonly known as the "We Buy Ugly Houses®" company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2017, for the 12th consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review's "Top Franchises," a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. In 2017, HomeVestors was recognized as the 21st fastest growing franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and was number 52 in the Franchise 500, produced by Entrepreneur Magazine. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.