The Lead

Casey signs on to letter asking MV Realty CEO for answers on allegations of predatory practices

By: - September 7, 2023 4:15 pm

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., takes questions from reporters on a visit to Harrisburg on Friday to celebrate the recently enacted Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, July 21, 2023 (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., joined two colleagues in the Senate this week in sending a letter to the CEO of a real estate brokerage accused of predatory practices in six states, including Pennsylvania, asking its chief executive for information and raising concerns about allegations of predatory behavior. 

MV Realty, a Florida-based mortgage broker, operates in 33 states across the country and has been the subject of lawsuits from state Attorneys General for alleged predatory behavior and providing inaccurate information to consumers. 

The lawsuits assert that MV Realty’s now-suspended Homeowner Benefit Program, which gave homeowners cash in exchange for a 40-year contract that gives the company the right to sell the home or place a lien of up to 3% of the home’s value on the property. 

In the letter to MV Realty CEO Anthony Mitchell seeking information, Sens. Casey, Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, raised concerns over reports that the company “exploits homeowners,” by providing them with inaccurate information and targeting vulnerable populations, such as homeowners with disabilities and seniors. 

“We are concerned by MV Realty’s practices for the homeowners already enrolled in the program and the potential for future harm if HBP enrollment resumes. Accordingly, we ask that MV Realty commit to reexamining its business practices and provide us with information on the HBP, including how it targets consumers for enrollment,” the letter reads. 

MV Realty has been sued by the Attorneys General of six states over the allegations of predatory business practices, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio.

In December 2022, then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that the commonwealth would sue the company for misleading consumers. 

“Pennsylvania homeowners are falling victim to MV Realty’s calculated deception in hiding the terms of the Homeowner Benefit Program,” Shapiro said then. “MV Realty is a scam that exploits Pennsylvanians in vulnerable financial situations, and my office isn’t buying it. My office will protect homeowners’ most important asset– the value of their real estate.”

The lawsuit, which is currently before the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, asserts that MV Realty engaged in “unfair, deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,” and requests that the company pay restitution to consumers affected by the its practices, pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law and $3,000 for each violation involving a consumer 60 or older, and strike all mortgages recorded on real estate in Pennsylvania, according to the Attorney General’s office.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.