Dallas-based Harbour Portfolio Advisors bought foreclosed homes at bargain prices and sold them to families who were unable to acquire traditional bank mortgages.
The city’s lawsuit stated that aside from the hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines, fees and violation notices the company owed, Harbour failed to “properly maintain dozens of homes … leading in one case to a child’s testing positive for lead poisoning.”
The lawsuit marks the first in the city’s chase to pin down out-of-state firms that buy foreclosed homes and take advantage of deprived families, as well as reselling the houses at inflated prices without even fixing them up first.
“We are planning more litigation,” Jessica Powell, chief counsel in the Cincinnati Law Department told the Times.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also investigating Harbour, and a federal judge ordered the company to comply with the CFPB’s demand for documents and other information, according to the Times.
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Harbour Portfolio Advisors, one of the largest sellers of foreclosed homes in the country, is being sued by the city of Cincinnati over allegations of “predatory behavior” and owing more than $360,000 in unpaid fines, according to the New York Times.