A 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 told DailyBusinessReview.com that it will continue operating the BuyOwner.com website and provide services to consumer for the time being, in order to continue generating revenue to pay off creditors.
The Deerfield Beach-based company does business in 10 markets, including Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta, Daily Business Review reported.
According to the company’s website, Buy Owner was established in 1984 and expanded to the Internet to become "the first ‘by owner’ " company to provide magazine-quality text and pictures to a real estate website."
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 company says it also employs "talking yard signs" that use "a state of the art computer system that speaks directly to the buyer" providing a full property description.
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.