Washington short-sale brokers could lose licenses

Real estate team accused of false advertising, underpricing listings

A prominent short-sale broker and his wife could be barred from practicing real estate for 10 years, after an administrative law judge affirmed six of 10 alleged license violations filed against them by the state of Washington’s Department of Licensing.

Washington regulators suspended the licenses of designated broker Michael Hellickson, his wife Tara Hellickson, also a broker, and their Pierce County-based brokerage, Hellickson.com Inc., without a hearing in September after receiving more than two dozen complaints about their practices.

A superior court judge reinstated all three licenses in October, pending the outcome of a hearing by an administrative law judge.

After a 10-day hearing in February and March in which the Department of Licensing called more than two dozen witnesses, Administrative Law Judge Terry A. Schuh affirmed six of the 10 alleged violations filed against the Hellicksons, and half of the 10 alleged violations lodged against their firm.