FRIDAY, OCT. 8 – A Pierce County Superior Court judge overturned an emergency suspension of the real estate licenses of Hellickson.com, Inc. managing broker Michael Hellickson and broker Tara Hellickson. After today’s ruling, DOL has reissued the real estate licenses. Click here to read the judge’s ruling.
The temporary suspensions were put in place by DOL on Sept. 2.
DOL spokesperson Christine Anthony says that the agency stands by its decision to issue the summary suspension, but will certainly abide by the judge’s decision. She says the agency will present its case at an administrative hearing beginning Oct. 19.
ORIGINAL POST, Sept. 9
The Department of Licensing (DOL) has indefinitely suspended the real estate licenses of Hellickson.com, Inc., managing broker Michael Hellickson, and broker Tara Hellickson for misconduct following the investigation of 27 consumer complaints. They are barred from engaging in any real estate business and transactions, pending further disciplinary proceedings.
While investigating these complaints, DOL investigators found evidence of ongoing patterns and practices that financially harmed consumers. These practices included:
- misrepresenting to sellers that the home would be purchased by the broker if it didn’t sell within 30 days
- telling homeowners to stop making mortgage payments so they could do a short sale
- listing homes at prices not authorized by the homeowner
- listing homes at artificially reduced prices in order to generate low-ball offers
- misrepresenting the contents of listing agreements by having homeowners sign blank addenda and later filling in unacceptable list price authorizations
- failing to provide sellers with copies of executed listing agreements
- telling homeowners to vacate their home before they were legally required to do so
- communicating negligently with homeowners, potential buyers, and lenders
The department also found evidence of false advertising about the real estate practice. The company’s website claims Hellickson is the number one agent in both Hawaii and Oregon, when neither of them is licensed to sell real estate in either state. The website also claims the Hellicksons or their company, Perfect Fit Loans, can provide home loan services, but this company is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions.
Consumers with a pending transaction or a signed contract with the Hellickson group are encouraged to seek advice from an attorney or a licensed real estate broker before taking any action.
Consumers who are worried about losing their homes may contact the Department of Financial Institutions about their options. To talk to a counselor, call 877-894-4663. They can also get more information at Homeownership.wa.gov. Consumers can also contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-551-4636. If you need help finding an attorney, the following resources may be useful:
Washington State Bar Association for Lawyer Referral Services
Housing Justice Project
Department of Housing and Urban Development Mortgage Counselor Services
WSBA Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project: 877-894-HOME
KCBA Housing Justice Project: 206-267-7090
Northwest Justice Project CLEAR line: 888-201-1014 (outside King County), 206- 461-3200 (in King County)
Legal Action Center: 206-324-6890