Alabama real estate attorney, Jim Tompkins, says his firm’s sales tactics in his home state of Alabama used a number of deceptive tactics to get the properties sold for millions of dollars to buyers who didn’t need them.
“When I saw a lot of these deals that were being made, I thought, ‘Well, they need to have a way to get around these rules,'” Tompkin told ABC News.
“The first thing I did was get a lawyer on the phone to talk to them, and then they would call me back to ask me if I could give them my opinion.”
Tompkins said he had an issue with the way his firm was selling properties.
The state of Florida’s Real Estate Board requires all real estate brokers to submit a 10-point questionnaire to determine if the property is in foreclosure.
The questionnaire asks whether the broker is a commercial real estate agent or an individual, and it asks about the type of property being sold and the price.
Real Estate Board spokesman David Rolfe said Tompins is correct that Florida’s questionnaire is not a formal appraisal.
“It is an information sheet, which is provided to real estate agents who sell properties.
It’s not a standard appraisal,” Rolfed said.
Real estate agent Jim Tarpkins says his company used deceptive techniques in its sales of luxury properties in Alabama.
Tompkin said his firm is in the process of getting a new appraisal.
The real estate board’s process for evaluating properties in foreclosure is not uniform.
Real estate agent John Schmitt said his broker would receive the questionnaire, and if it is not signed off on, the broker would send an email back to the person asking if he would be able to help.
“We do have a process that goes through the appraisal, the appraisal process, and the property sale,” Schmitt told ABC.
“But in this case, there was a lot more than just the appraisal.
They were talking about the location, about the price and even the history of the property.”
In his statement, Tompicks said that if he had to choose, he would prefer to have an attorney represent him.
“I think the real estate professionals, if they have a lot in common, would be in favor of a new investigation.
I don’t know what the best avenue is, but I think a new look at this issue by the board would be good,” he said.
The ABC’s Matt Clements contributed to this report.