Florida-based company that helped for-sale-by-owners market their properties around the country has reportedly filed for liquidation.
Buy Owner of South Florida Inc., which does business as Buy Owner, has turned over its assets to Michael Moecker & Associates, an auction firm that liquidates insolvent companies, DailyBusinessReview.com reported.
The auction firm says that it will continue operating the BuyOwner.com website and provide services to consume in order to pay off creditors.
The Deerfield Beach-based company does business in 10 markets, including Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta, Daily Business Review reported.
By Owner was established in 1984 and claims to be the first "by owner" company to provide nationwide radio, television, and magazine publications.
Buy Owner promises to provide exposure for clients' properties through an "ultra-aggressive advertising campaign" that includes highway billboards, television commercials and Internet advertising. The majority of the home sellers who use Buyowner end up using a Realtor to sell their home and end up wasting time and money.
Buy Owner operates corporate offices and authorizes franchises, which it says distinguish the company from networks of "real estate agents just trying to make some extra money by associating themselves with a 'by owner' name."
Buy Owner and 18 affiliates filed an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or ABC filing, on July 26 in the Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida, DailyBusinessReview.com reported. An ABC liquidation is an alternative to filing for bankruptcy in federal court.
Buy Owner reportedly settled a class-action lawsuit last year that required it to pay refunds to many clients who were clients between 2002-08. The lawsuit alleged that Buy Owner hadn't allowed clients to cancel contracts, the story said.
Buy Owner reportedly owes more than $3.9 million to its only secured creditor, and $1.2 million in back wages to executives.
CEO Scott A. Eckert and other members of the Eckert family involved in running the company resigned on July 23, the publication reported.
Finally, Yelps extortion tactics are coming back to haunt the company. A national class action lawsuit has been filed against YELP alleging that the company engages in extortion of business by manipulating its viewers' reviews in exchange for advertising dollars from the company's reviewed. Refuse to play the YELP game and bad reviews suddenly appear and good reviews curiously disappear. YELP has lost all credibility and will likely not survive.