The Estates Suppression of Foreclosure Bids North Carolina Class Action

This class action brings an antitrust suit against The Estates, LLC, and other associated groups for alleged bid-rigging among those who bid on foreclosed homes. The plaintiffs are former homeowners who claim to have been paid less for their properties because of the Estates rules that limit bidding by members. 

The class for this action is all persons and entities whose properties were sold through foreclosure proceedings in North Carolina at which a member of The Estates was the high bidder and at which The Estaes placed the bid deposit on that bidder’s behalf.

Named as defendants in this case are The Estates, LLC, The Estates (UT), LLC, The Estates Real Estate Group, LLC, Timbra of North Carolina, LLC, Versa Properties, LLC, Red Tree Holdings, LLC, Maldives, LLC, and two individuals. 

The Estates is described in the complaint as “a membership organization (or group of membership organizations)” that accepts individuals or companies as members. The members have access to a database of properties that in foreclosure in North Carolina. The organization maintains real estate information on the properties, “along with the Estates Defendants’ opinions on the properties, such as the potential equity in the property and potential profits from a foreclosure sale.” 

The organization then “coordinates bidding” on the properties at foreclosure sales. If a member bids on a property, The Estates gets a finder’s fee from the member, and it is The Estates that places the bid on the member’s behalf.

What the complaint objects to are two rules of the organization that members must agree to as a condition of membership. First, only one member may bid on any particular property at any foreclosure sale. Second, no member may outbid another member. The Estates say that this is in part to keep from “negotiating away potential income.”

From the point of view of the homeowners, however, this is anticompetitive behavior. The complaint notes that “when properties are sold at foreclosure auctions, the proceeds are used to pay off the mortgage and other debt attached to the property, with any remaining proceeds paid to the homeowner.” 

The agreement of members of The Estates not to bid against each other, the complaint claims, prevents prices from rising as high as they might otherwise. The homeowners therefore get less than they might have for their properties. The complaint alleges that this is bid-rigging and therefore an antitrust violation, with the members of the group comprising a conspiracy.

The complaint alleges that the homeowners “suffered harm, losing valuable equity in their homes if not their homes themselves, because of [The Estates] anti-competitive behavior, which distorted the process in North Carolina foreclosure sales.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

The Estates Suppression of Foreclosure Bids North Carolina Complaint

October 18, 2019

This class action brings an antitrust suit against The Estates, LLC, and other associated groups for alleged bid-rigging among those who bid on foreclosed homes. The plaintiffs are former homeowners who claim to have been paid less for their properties because of the Estates rules that limit bidding by members. 

estates_foreclosure_property_bid-rigging_compl.pdf

Case Event History

The Estates Suppression of Foreclosure Bids North Carolina Complaint

October 18, 2019

This class action brings an antitrust suit against The Estates, LLC, and other associated groups for alleged bid-rigging among those who bid on foreclosed homes. The plaintiffs are former homeowners who claim to have been paid less for their properties because of the Estates rules that limit bidding by members. 

estates_foreclosure_property_bid-rigging_compl.pdf
Tags: Antitrust, Bid-Rigging