• Report: #853859
Complaint Review:

Peggy Palms

  • Submitted: Wed, March 14, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, January 13, 2013

  • Reported By: Concerned Citizen — Watauga North Carolina United States of America
Peggy Palms
128 Meadowview Drive Boone, North Carolina United States of America

Peggy Palms Mountain Realty, High Country Short Sales, Rip Off Artist, Shady Real Estate Agent Boone, North Carolina

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Rebuttal and Notice from Peggy Palms, Owner of Company

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This person has to be one of the most despicable characters I've ever come across in the real estate business.  Has a terrible reputation across the high country. She has consistently added fees, illegally, in addition to her agent commission.  She has also tried to buy a house under a shell LLC, which is extremely illegal.

She hides behind moving business locations, and only working with short-sale / distressed properties.  Her companies, High Country Short Sales and Moutain Realty, are terrible to work with. This person needs to stay away from real estate transactions, and should be avoided at all costs.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/14/2012 01:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/peggy-palms/boone-north-carolina-28607/peggy-palms-mountain-realty-high-country-short-sales-rip-off-artist-shady-real-estate-a-853859. 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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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Rebuttal and Notice from Peggy Palms, Owner of Company

AUTHOR: Peggy Palms - (USA)

A subpoena has been served upon the appropriate entities operating Ripoffreport.com requesting any information relating to the identity of the person or entity who posted this report.  The person or entity has the right to timely and anonymously file and serve a response or objection to the subpoena. The venue is Maricopa County Superior Court, and the action is styled CV2012-056797 and the Plaintiffs are Margaret Palms and Venus Properties, Inc. The court is located at 201 W. Jefferson Ave, Phoenix, Arizona, 85004

This Report was not written by a former or current client, or any consumer intended to be protected by this forum. It was written by a competing real estate firm that does not understand the short sale  process and was frustrated by its brokers inability to work cooperatively and close a sale.  I find it very sad that a fellow REALTOR firm would resort to posting false statements and shallow insults against me.  We are all colleagues with a duty to act in our clients best interests, helping them through the challenges of real estate buying and selling. Nowhere is that duty more essential than in the present foreclosure and short sale epidemic. Expert assistance is essential, and I have provided that expertise and support to hundreds of grateful clients since 1995.

The statements in this report are untrue and unkind. Some are simply childish name-calling insults, some baseless warnings and others are serious factual and legal misrepresentations. The most alarming allegation is that I have engaged in illegal conduct. This author real estate firm has
violated an essential Real Estate Association ethical rule that forbids a REALTOR from publishing negative statements about a fellow REALTOR. Beyond that, the author of this reports egregious false statements rise to a higher level of harm, namely illegal defamation.

Ripoff Report is not designed as a forum for a business to publicly defame a competitor. It is a reporting service, by consumers, for consumers to warn the public of scams or complaints against a business that has failed to deliver services as promisedConsumers Educating Consumers. Fair enough. Those who provide services to the public should be held to a high
standard to ensure that their customers and clients are treated fairly. Good customer service and going the extra mile to make customers happy is just good business. As an attorney licensed by the North Carolina State Bar and the State Bar of Texas, a Broker-in-Charge licensed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, and a member of the National Association of REALTORS,  I am
held to the highest standards of fiduciary duty to those I serve. My clients and colleagues comment frequently about the excellent job my staff and I do for them in negotiating short sales, avoiding foreclosure, protecting their credit and eliminating debt.

Short sales are known to be many times more difficult to close than ordinary real estate transactions. Many REALTORS will no longer accept those listings and often steer buyers away from short sale properties. Those who take them on need to be highly skilled, extremely patient, and in our state of North Carolina, only a licensed attorney can negotiate the terms of a short sale
settlement on behalf of the seller. The broker who wrote this Report doesnt appear to have ever closed a short sale, but attempted to force a transaction to go in a way that the legal and banking systems wouldnt allow. Rather than cooperate within normal business courtesies as my other colleagues normally do, this firm posted several Ripoff Reports full of unkind insults and false
statements. I regretfully must respond to protect my reputation and conclusively identify the author to curtail future defamation.

I believe that the firm who published these Reports may have realized its error in doing so and attempted to have the false Reports removed. However, Ripoff Reports policy is to refuse to remove any reports, even if the author realizes they have made a mistake by engaging in defamation. Ripoff Report also will not provide proof of the identity of anonymous authors.

Consequently, I have been forced to file a civil action in Arizona, where the report was posted; the venue is Maricopa County Superior Court, for the purposes of (1) identifying the person(s) who filed these reports on this website, (2) recovering damages, and (3) requesting the author Cease and Desist the defamation. The action is styled CV2012-056797 and the Plaintiffs are Margaret Palms and Venus Properties, Inc. The Verified Complaint includes counts for Defamation, Defamation Per Se, and Intentional Interference with Business Relationships. The court is located at 201 W. Jefferson Ave, Phoenix, Arizona, 85004.

A few examples of the truth behind the false allegations stated in the Reports:

1.    This persongoes after people in dire situations to take advantage of them. 

Response: I do not go after clients. Clients are referred to me by other professionals, such as attorneys, CPAs, and other REALTORS who know my reputation for taking excellent care of my clients and going the extra mile to truly help those in need. My clients get free professional help and advice through my real estate brokerage, my law firm, and my short sale processing company, which can hardly be characterized as taking advantage of them.

2.    She has consistently added fees, illegally, in addition to her agent commission.

Response: Pursuant to applicable North Carolina statute, Chapter 14, Article 56, Debt Adjusting, an attorney may negotiate with a sellers lender in the course of a short sale transaction, but a person acting solely as a real estate agent is not authorized to do so. See N.C GEN STAT
14-423 426. I have never asked a short sale seller to pay my fees, or accepted payment of my fees from a seller. As an attorney, I act in strict compliance with applicable law and ethical obligations, and am only paid reasonable short sale processing fees from lender proceeds for performing functions that constitute the practice of law in the course of a short sale transaction. All fees are agreed upon and disclosed in advance to all parties on the HUD-1 settlement statement.

3.  She also tried to buy a house under a shell LLC, which is extremely illegal.

Response: I have never operated or acted as a principal for a shell corporation or limited liability company (LLC); meaning one without assets, operations, and/or function. High Country Short Sales and Mountain Realtyare registered trade names used to identify the distinct business
operations of Venus Properties, Inc., which has been an active real estate brokerage with bank accounts and other assets since 2004. Other than my separate law firm, which certainly is not a shell, I am a principal in two LLCs, Artha Investments, LLC, and Lotus Ventures, LLC; both hold assets and operate open and honest real estate investment activities.

4.  She hides behind moving business locations.

Response: My North Carolina Real Estate Broker license and North Carolina State
Bar license, as well as substantial legal filings and marketing documents,
demonstrate that I have operated from the same business office address for more
than six (6) years.

5. She is a lawyer and writes her own real estate contracts instead of using the general contracts
most realtors use that are provided by the state.

Although as a lawyer I am fully authorized to write real estate contracts, I use the standard purchase and sale agreements jointly approved and endorsed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the North Carolina State Bar, with standard addenda applicable to short sales.

6. She puts extremely low ghost offers on short sale homes that she is trying to sell. She will
black ball any offer that comes in and keep it from ever closing so she can buy the home for pennies and sell it for an enormous profit.

I am not aware of the definition of a ghost offer but if I am being accused of submitting offers that are deceptive and incapable of closing, this is not the case. I list all short sales on the Multiple Listing Service and other sites to gain maximum market exposure. Offers are required to show proof that the buyer has the financial ability to close the transaction. All offers are then submitted to the short sale lenders so they may decide which offer to accept. I have never bought a house for pennies and have never sold one for enormous profit.

7. She tries to add undisclosed fees to a purchase contract for the buyer to pay her short sale
company. Any other realtor collects commissions on the sale or the house weather it is short sale or not and does not seek extra money because it is a short sale. She doesnt do anything more than any other realtor, yet expects to be paid an extra 5% commission just because she has a short sale company. If the buyer refuses to pay her this fee she will try to get the sellers bank to
pay her which holds up the sale of the property. My firms fees related to any closing are always fully disclosed to all parties to the transaction in the purchase contract and on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, prepared by an independent licensed attorney. I have never requested
or accepted an extra 5% commission in any transaction. I equally share with the selling agent whatever real estate commission the short sale lender is willing to pay us, typically 3% for each agent. It is common knowledge that the time and resources involved for attorneys and REALTORS representing sellers are extensive, well beyond the work required in typical property sale. Short salestake many months and even years of complicated processing and negotiation. Some never close due to the lenders refusal to accept a reasonable market price for the property, and on these we work for no fee at all. For those that do close we sometimes collect a reasonable short sale processing fee, but this fee is covered by whatever concessions the bank may approve in the transaction, rather than paid by the buyer or seller.

8.  This realtor has been reported to the board of ethics many times, but is a lawyer and knows how to get around any sort of judgment.

It is true that a group of agents filed an ethics complaint regarding a contract dispute with the local Association of REALTORS.  After thorough investigation and hearing, the Association found no evidence of my misconduct or rule violation. There was no judgment to get around.  Professional administrative board reviews are carefully scrutinized and not subject to outside or improper influence. I am always careful to protect my clients best interest within the boundaries of legal and ethical professional business practices, so such a statement is extremely misleading.

I could continue to refute this competing real estate firms malicious statements, but it should be clear that the allegations in the Report are not well conceived and profoundly inaccurate. When a person believes they will remain anonymous, they often choose to be reckless, and even intentionally harmful. We all support the First Amendment, but it should not be used as a shield for
malicious behavior against a colleague who is acting legally and ethically for their clients benefit. 

Better forums exist to resolve differences amicably.  As a court certified meditator for many years, I see how conflicts can be resolved in a civilized way, making us stronger and better business people.  We should all think twice about using the Internet as a forum for vindictive and baseless accusations, especially when the postings can cause permanent damage to ourselves and others.

There are very few viable options these days for distressed homeowners facing foreclosure.  Rather than attack those who have stepped up to help fix the problem, lets support the short sale process, however flawed it may be. With hard work and cooperation, we can resolve this crisis and create a win-win-win-win for the benefit of sellers, buyers, REALTORS and yes, even the banks.

Peggy Palms
Attorney/ REALTOR/Consultant
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