May 27, 2018

Brokers' Licenses Revoked for Alleged Short Sale Fraud

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Brokers' Licenses Revoked for Alleged Short Sale Fraud

Two Washington real estate professionals have had their licenses revoked for 10 years by state regulators, who are accusing the team of committing multiple short sale violations, including telling home owners to stop making mortgage payments and listing prices at ultra-low prices in trying to trigger multiple offers. 

Real estate pros Michael Hellickson and his wife Tara Hellickson are appealing the Washington state Department of Licensing’s suspension. Their lawyer called the suspension “unprecedented” that the department would revoke a real estate broker’s license for “anything other than theft of trust funds or criminal felony convictions,” Inman News reports.  

The Department of Licensing suspended the couple’s real estate licenses after they said they fielded two dozen complaints about the team. The duo are accused of artificially reducing home prices below what the owner was willing to accept in order to generate multiple lowball offers as well as for misrepresenting to clients that they would buy any homes that were listed with them if it did not sell within 30 days. Michael Hellickson was also accused of false advertising by claiming he was the No. 1 agent in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. 

Source: “Washington Short-Sale Brokers Will Fight License Revocation,” Inman News (Aug. 10, 2011) [Log-in required.]