A reality TV star made a name for himself bidding on foreclosed homes. Now he's underwater, accused of operating without a license.
The show Property Wars on the Discovery Channel follows several Valley real estate players bidding on properties without getting to see them inside. The problem is one of those players may not even be allowed to do this.
John Ray's bottom line may be in jeopardy now that the Arizona Department of Real Estate sent him a cease and desist letter accusing him of operating without a license.
In his biography on the Property Wars' website, he's described as a long-time player in the Phoenix real estate scene.
He owns Arizona Investors Alliance LLC, also known as Bid AZ Foreclosures. On his website, he lists current properties up for auction and bids on behalf of his clients.
But the department of Real Estate claimed his license was terminated in July 2011.
"For someone who claims to have as robust a business as this guy does, it's pretty unusual for them to be operating without a license," said real estate attorney Court Rich, who is not affiliated with this case. He said the state statute is pretty clear in defining what real estate services are.
"If you're involved in the purchase or sale of property for commission, including doing bidding and auctions, you probably need a license," Rich said. "He's going to have to find that gray area if there is one."
Ray did not want to go on camera, but sent us the following statement:
"I received notice on December 6th from the AZ Department of Real Estate regarding a Cease and Desist order against my company Arizona Investors Alliance, LLC DBA Bid AZ Foreclosures. The Department ordered to "Cease and Desist from engaging in acts, practices and transactions without first complying with all applicable laws and rules, pursuant to A.R.S. SS32-2154 (A) and 32-2122 (B).
"Myself and Arizona Investors Alliance, LLC DBA Bid AZ Foreclosures immediately ceased engaging as a bidding service and started the process of becoming fully compliant with department regulations and in the process of filing a Notice of Appeal & Request for Hearing by January 6th 2014."
The future of Property Wars doesn't look bright; several cast members have tweeted that it's been canceled.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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