ED Magedson – Founder
USA Property Investor(U.K) 35A Victoria Road East, Thornton-Cleveleys, , Select State/Province United Kingdom
USA Property Investor Detroit property refurb ripoff Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, UK
I was forced to take early retirement two and a half years ago and, as my pension was smaller than I had anticipated I decided to use my lump sum to provide me with a bit of extra income. I believed (foolishly as it turned out) that property was the best bet and statred attending seminars and sales events. One of these was run by a company called Property Secrets in tandem with an associate USA Property Investor (though I did not know there were two separate companies at the time). They offered what they claimed to be hands-off deals in Detroit with good rental returns. The properties were fully refurbished (they claimed) and it was just a question of investing and sitting back and letting the income flow in.
Almost from the outset their promises were hollow. A deal they said would take six weeks to complete and be up and running took 6 months and they had my money for a good proportion of this time. I told them I was unhappy and wanted to pull out at this stage but they just ignored me. When the property was finally ready it became quickly apparent that this was not a genuine arrangement. Firstly the US agent hit me with around $1100 of charges that they had made no mention of and then with around $800 of repairs on what was supposed to have been a newly refurbed preoperty. Then the $850 per month rent they promised turned out to be $800. And this was only the start.
The company registering the property to me failed to check or follow up and the property has never appeared in my name meaning I didn't recedive any tax demands and the taxes and penalties mounted up without my knowledge or ability to do anything. The agent has consistently claimed that repairs and maintenance was needed on this 'newly refurbished' property and has hit me with $9k of expenses for this. Then, about a year ago, the supposed long-term tenant left and the agent hasn't bothered to find a new one in a year so I have lost about $10k rental income.
During all of this I kept telling USA Property Investor what was happening but their only response was 'it is between you and the agent' (the agent they appointed). If I didn't like it they suggested I change agents and recommended - the agent I was already with at their instigation! They are now threatening to foreclose on my mortgage as I have had no income at all for 18 months (in fact I have paid around $8k in taxes and mortgage payments in that time) and have no money to pay the outstanding amounts. They now seem to be hiding behind the fact that the other company, Property Secrets, made all the claims and promise and it is their fault and responsibility.
Most of what was claimed in the original literature is either inaccurate or misleading and the USA Property Investor site continues to claim these are hands-off investments. I quote from their website:
'UPI helps its clients to acquire high yield property investments in well established, stable environments in the USA.
With operations in both the UK and USA, we provide access to exclusive below-market-value opportunities from a variety of sources, including REO, bank foreclosures, distressed sales and trustee sales.'
Well they haven't helped me in the slightest - unless you count helping me lose $40k. The environment they sell you into seems anything but stable and the below-market-value claim is laughable. I had someone value the property I paid them $44k for and they thought it was worth about $10k in its present state. As for refurbishment he also told me that the kitchen and bathroom were very old and outdated and most of the fittings needed replacing. So exactly what did they refurb?
My guess is - and I have no evidence for this yet - is they bought the property off the county for $5k or $6k spent a couple of thousand tarting it up and then sold it as a full refurb. There is at the very least misrepresentation here, possibly passing off and maybe even fraud and negligence. Avoid these people at all costs if you want to preserve your investment.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/04/2013 06:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/usa-property-investor/thornton-cleveleys-select-stateprovince-fy5-5bu/usa-property-investor-detroit-property-refurb-ripoff-thornton-cleveleys-lancashire-uk-1096731. 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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