A Cox Media Group collaboration across all of its TV stations’ investigative reporting teams exposed a business practice criticized by homeowners in at least seven states. Several states, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia, have filed law suits against the company.
A Cox Media Group collaboration across all of its TV stations’ investigative reporting teams exposed a business practice criticized by homeowners in at least seven states.
According to Cox, the investigation is the result of a new alliance implemented by CMG enabling its TV station reporters across the country to work together to uncover the larger scope of issues, even beyond their own markets.
WFTV, Cox’s ABC affiliate in Orlando, Fla., first investigated the story about MV Realty, a Florida-based company that offered quick cash to unsuspecting homeowners in exchange for a contract ensuring homeowners would use the company as their realtor if they later decided to sell their house.
Many failed to realize the contract was secured with a 40-year lien on their home.
When some homeowners attempted to sell their home using other realtors, the company then demanded many thousands of dollars — much more than the quick cash originally offered.
WSB, Cox’s ABC affiliate in Atlanta, reported a similar story revealing how a woman had trouble selling her fire-damaged home because of an MV Realty agreement.
From there, Cox stations in Seattle, Boston, Charlotte, Dayton, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh joined in the investigation, finding homeowners in those markets also had concerns about MV Realty’s business practices.
CMG station’s investigative teams interviewed former MV Realty company insiders, talked with homeowners who signed contracts with MV Realty, and researched thousands of documents, including more than 12,000 liens on properties in seven states.
The CMG stations worked together to share the interviews, video, graphics, and investigative leads, collectively airing more than 30 news stories on MV Realty, which became the subject of a documentary on their reporting process.
Several states, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia, have filed law suits against MV Realty.
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