Sometimes the blogger goes through a rough patch of feedback over some posts, and I have certainly been through one as of late. One reader wrote and said: “Has the Vue bought out the blog?”
Actually, no, as of yet there have been no buyout offers. And I certainly don’t anticipate any arriving anytime soon!
I have been accused of gross naitvete, with some readers wondering whether I have empathy for shady car dealers and loan sharks too? In other words, the feedback has been consistent and strong that there is no need to worry about the poor poor Developers, that they will do just fine without my help. Point taken!
So what are the facts of this case now that I have had time to research them? They are simply these. The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act has been in place for decades. The U.S. Congress passed it. Developers may not like it, and some may have chosen to not abide by all of it. Nevertheless, the statutes are very clear.
Specifically, the statute says that unless the contract has certain items, the pre-sales buyers are entitled to a two-year right to cancel, and if buyers do cancel within 2 years the Developer must return their earnest money. The Vue challenged it; they ignored this statute, and the Judge called them on it.
This is a federal law. It applies to Illinois, N.C., all 50 states. This is not unique or a mystery or fine print. The Vue did not honor the 2 year right to cancel; the Vue did not follow the clearly stated law; and the judge simply applied the law. No precedent, no interpretation, no ambiguity, no special North Carolina gotchas. The law says do X, you did not do X, contract cancelled within 2 years, refund money. Simple as that.
MCL and the Developers may want to change this law. But it is in retrospect absurd to have empathy for them, which is why I was creamed by the feedback when some presales buyers read it.
And guess what? This case is still not over! This case made several claims; the refund of the earnest money because the buyers were within the 2 year right to cancellation window was just one of them. The buyers won this battle, but there is more. Now we move to the Berkovich’s claim that the Vue engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices and the Berkovich’s claim for damages for making untrue and misleading statements. All of this is still yet to be decided by the court.
My feeling now is that because the Vue ignored the disclosures buyers were entitled to under the ILSFDA that this could grow to be a larger problem for them not only with the Berkovich’s but with perhaps more pre-sales buyers.
In closing, I admit I went to print too soon and am guilty of severe naivete and this is my mea culpa. I have written on the blackboard 100 times: Does the Vue have a Point? No No No! Does the Vue have a Problem? Yes Yes Yes!
Still not sure if the Vue had a point and indeed has some possibly big problems ahead? Read this attached ruling and you can decide for yourself.
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