Mass real estate company charged $200k fine from Mass AG. A real estate tech firm EasyKnock has entered into a settlement with the commonwealth of Massachusetts over allegations of engaging in an unlawful sale-leaseback scheme.
EasyKnock, a new real estate tech company that uses AI and data for real estate transactions, participated in an equity-skimming scheme, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office said in a press release.
Boston Real Estate Company Settlement
The settlement resolves allegations that the company engaged in an unfair and deceptive equity-skimming scheme that involved purchasing the Boston condos of cash-strapped consumers at bargain-basement prices and then renting them back to the consumers, at times for unfair rents. According to the AG’s Office, EasyKnock then violated laws designed to protect tenants, including by charging unlawful and untimely fees and failing to make necessary repairs.
Under the terms of the settlement, EasyKnock has agreed to permanently cease its unfair and deceptive “sale-leaseback solution” business in Massachusetts and additionally, EasyKnock will make a payment of $200,000 to the Commonwealth.
Emerging Boston condo for sale business
Tech companies like EasyKnock operate under an emerging business model that uses technology like AI and big data to conduct real estate transactions, including complex and confusing ones such as EasyKnock’s “sale-leaseback solutions.” Unfortunately, such technology can be used to target and exploit vulnerable “house-rich, cash-poor” consumers, who, despite having significant home equity, have little cash income or savings.
Boston condos for sale and the bottom line
EasyKnock, operating under an emerging business model, face increased scrutiny for potentially exploiting consumers. Attorneys general around the country have clamped down on companies engaging in alleged real estate scams.
Consumers who believe they may have been subject to unfair and deceptive business practices may file a consumer complaint with the AG’s Office.
Update: just found out that this real estate company is presently raised $215M to be a national real estate company.
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