Fresno Real Estate Market.
DESPERATE TIMES REQUIRE DESPERATE MEASURES.
On Thursday (Nov 15, 2007) I received letter from my former broker, Guarantee Real Estate, where I hung my license from Nov of 2002 to May of 2006. The letter was signed (and I assume written) by one Brian K Cuttone, Vice President and General Counsel. As far as I know it is the only correspondence they have ever sent me since I left the company in May of last year.
I left on good, no I would up that to, excellent terms with the company, in particular with my managing broker at the time: "Skin" Mead. I never paid much attention to the "fees" the company charged me, and I always paid whatever they said I owed without dispute, having the "fees" they charged deducted from my commission checks. Prior to leaving the company I paid the $180.61 and to my knowledge went out with a clean slate.
NOT SO SAYS BRIAN CUTTANE, VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL for Guarantee Real Estate. According to him Guarantee Real Estate has sent me "several statements" and my account has become "seriously delinquent" AND according to him, I have never disputed the amount (so obviously I must owe it). Enclosed with his letter was an itemized bill stating that I had a balance owing of $14.73. So in bold letters he states:
"This is to notify you that unless we have received payment in full or satisfactory arrangments are made for payment ofthe Fees, within ten (10) days from the date of this letter, we will turn your account over to a collection agency or initiate legal proceedings to collect the Fees."
I suppose if my scrotum was half full and I had the brains of a fifth grader this would sound intimidating. What really irritates me is stating that they have sent me several statements, which I view as merely a legal ploy since previous statement(s) are required BEFORE you can send a demand letter threatening legal action or collections.
So what happened here? My best guess is that the company that declares itself to be Number 1 in the California's Central Valley is so slow that they are seeking revenue from anywhere they can get it and have brought out the big guns: AN ATTORNEY to help them get it.
Their statement shows desk fees of $85.00 (X2) and to my knowledge I have a signed agreement that states they are $75.00 per month - so at some point they raised this fee, but to my knowledge, I wasn't informed in writing (other than in my bill), nor do I recall signing anything to that effect. There is also a business license charge of $19.00 which I dont recall ever being charged before. I will have to look on my signed agreement with the company, but it honestly looks like something new to me they added on since I started, or i wouldn't be mentioning it.
I don't have a problem paying what I owe. I do have a problem with:
- Saying several statements have been sent to me ( I say that is a lie)
- Saying that I have never disputed the charges ( that assumes I knew of them per above)
- Threatening legal action or collection agency in bold print.
- Having an attorneywrite the letter - attempt to intimidate ???
Once again, I thought when I left, A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, everything was even-Steven. Now it will take me more time than its worth to review the charges and determine if I actually owe them, not to mention the time I've taken to write this blog - but hey like Guarantee Real Estate I'm slow, WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO?
© Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Owner / Broker Lazarus Realty