Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Foreclosure Bid-Rigging Scheme
J.C. White Law Group PLLC and Blue LLP have filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of property owners who lost their homes and properties to a bid-rigging scheme in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The complaint alleges that group calling itself “The Estates” and its members, who operate through multiple LLCs, engaged in an illegal conspiracy to coordinate their bids at public foreclosures across the state of North Carolinas. The defendants are The Estates, LLC, The Estates (UT), LLC, Timbra of North Carolina, LLC, Versa Properties, LLC, Maldives, LLC, Tonya Newell and Carolyn Souther.
The complaint alleges:
The Estates is a membership organization (or group of membership organizations) that has engaged, and continues to engage, in a bid-rigging scheme in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (the “Sherman Act”). Persons, either individually or through companies that they create, become members of the Estates. As members, they gain access to a database of properties facing foreclosure in North Carolina. Members are required to enter into an agreement that only one member may bid on any given property at any particular foreclosure sale and that no member may out-bid another. The Estates notes that this is in part to avoid “negotiating away potential income.” The Estates is paid a “finders fee” for every property that a member bids on at a foreclosure sale, and bids are placed on the members’ behalf by the Estates.
The Plaintiffs, and other similarly situated homeowners and property owners, lost their homes and properties through the Estates’ illegal bidding practices.
For more information about Williams, et al. vs. The Estates, et al., or if you believe you have been impacted by this scheme, please contact Blue LLP partner Dhamian Blue.