ED Magedson – Founder
Hubzu.com, Altisource, Ocwen Financial Services, Deutche Bank Deception in On Line Real Estate Auction Internet
First an explanation of multiple parties.
Hubzu.com is an on-line real estate auction. It is run by Altisource which places properties on the Hubzu.com auction site. Owcen Financial Services owns, controls, or services proerties and is either in partnership or contractual relationship with Altisource. DeutscheBank was the seller of the property which was marketed on Hubzu.com.
Hubzu.com has auction property listings across the country. We purchased a property that was listed on this web site. The property turned out to have numerous defects which were so severe that we had to find a rehab builder to buy the property from us and, as a result, wound up losing over $100,000. We were not able to obtain an interested buyer through conventional realtor marketing.
This post serves as a warning for anyone considering buying a property through the Hubzu.com auction web site. it could pertain to other auction sites as well, but our experience was with Hubzu.
Hubzu listings contain a short discription and photos of the interior and exterior of the properties. Photos are always complimentary in nature. I have toured 3 Hubzu properties throughly and others from the exterior only. Every property that I have seen has has significant defects. it is apparent that photographers have orders not to include any defects in thier photos.
Additionally, Hubzu makes blanket statements stat their sellers have no kowledge of any defects. This is quite difficult to believe since there would likley be appraiser, preservation companies, real estate agents, or others who visit these properties and prepare reports.
Since I have only seen a handfull of Hubzu properties, it is possible that some do not have significant levels of defects, but those that I have seen have 100% occurance. One I looked at within the last few days had so many that it is difficult to see how the photographer could have excluded all of them. There was even standing water on the floor inside the house! The photos on the Hubzu listing all looked fine.
Additionally, after taking ownership of our property, we found out that there was a county requirement to abandon the septic tank and pay to have the house hookded up to central sewer. For this house, this would be an extensive process with cutting the foundation of the house and repiping. There was a similar request made in writing to the previous owners prior to foreclosure and this did turn out to be recorded. This request was also made to Deutchebank who did pay part of the preliminary fee. Obviously the seller therefore did have knowledge of this condition despite Hubzu's blanket statement that sellers have no knowledge of property conditions.
Had this sewer requirement been disclosed, we would not have bid on this property. Additionally, this recorded notice was not detected in the title search performed by the Premeir Title which is Hubzu's in-house or closely related title company. This would have given us an adiditional opportunity to reject the property.
Hubzu listings have a link to request a real estate agent. We requested and no one contacted us.
Auction durations make it diffficult to line up inspections prior to the time running out. Some of the defects were visible, but many would have needed an advanced inspection to be detected.
We contacted Deutche Bank about the problems and they said they were not the seller even though they were listed as the seller on the contract. They claimed that Ocwen was the acutal seller but had power of attorney to insert their name on the contract. They provided the name and a phone number of a contact at Ocwen who never answered or returned any calls. A representative at Hubzu was courteous and said that the issue would be presented to Hubzu's president and that he is pretty reasonable guy. No return call. We did receive a call from an Altisource representative who heard us out and subsequently sent us a letter that they were not going to help and were not responsibile.
It appears from our angle that the Hubzu site has an objective, or atleast a convenience, to promote properties with serious defects to a wide audience under auctions conditions which do not provide time to throughly have defective properties inspected and evaluated and it make claims that the owner has no knowedge of any defects. Quite hard to believe.
For the record, Ocwen has a history of offenses which has resulted in a $2.1 billion settlement with the US Atty General in teamwork with 48 State AG's related to offenses for foreclosures and loan servicing. Please feel free to google for yourself.
This whole affair was so senseless since it was easily avoidable. it is simple. Legislation should be passed to require any property which is placed on an on-line auction to first have a detailed inspection by a qualified and licensed home inspector, general contractor, or structural engineer. Their reports should be included as a link in the auction listing so that potential buyers can be informed about defects. This certainly would have prevented us from being so badly harmed. As it exists right now, they can maket defective properties without any responsibility for disclosure.
Aside from posting on the Ripoff Report, I will be taking my case to the US and Florida State Attorney Generals offices, as well as my state and federal legislators, consumer protection agencies as well as national print television, and web media outlets. This problem needs to be revealed so that the unsuspecting public can be protected from experiencing the same financial disaster that we have been through. We have discussed this with our private attorney as well.
I sincerely hope that our story will help others avoid the same devastation. I would encourage parties interested in auction properties from Hubzu go visit some of these properties for yourself to see if the defects are common. You can search properties in your own town on Hubzu's website. Please do this before ever bidding on a property and perhaps you could feed back to them, or your legislators, about the need for inspection reports as part of auction listings.
Contact info for the entities are:
Deutsche Bank: Jerome Jackson 1-714-247-6206, Jerome.email@example.com (he does answer is phone and return calls.)
Ocwen: Victoria Vazquez 1-561-682-7010, Victoria.Vazquez@ocwen.com (never returns calls or answers her phone)
Altisource: James Harp, Escalation Department (altisource main number 888-876-8400)
Hubzu.com: Brian Thomas 1-770-956-5890, firstname.lastname@example.org
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/28/2014 09:10 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hubzucom/internet/hubzucom-altisource-ocwen-financial-services-deutche-bank-deception-in-on-line-real-e-1134411. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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