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WSOC TV Charlotte: Beazer Investigation
Thursday, 29 March 2007

FBI Investigating Charlotte Home Builder; Company Denies Wrongdoing
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a Charlotte home builder. Agents are checking out the business practices of Beazer Homes, including the arrangement of mortgage loans for buyers in its subdivisions... In just the past five years, foreclosures have climbed 62 percent in Mecklenburg County, and those foreclosures are frustrating residents.

 

FBI Investigating Charlotte Home Builder; Company Denies Wrongdoing 

March 28,2007
Video: Beazer Homes Under Investigation  

 Charlotte N.C. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a Charlotte home builder.

Agents are checking out the business practices of Beazer Homes, including the arrangement of mortgage loans for buyers in its subdivisions.

FBI leaders stress the investigation is not an indication that Beazer, which operates in more than 20 states, has done anything wrong. They say the agency has an obligation to look into complaints.

Beazer representatives released a statement saying the company received a request for documents relating to its mortgage business and is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office. It said internal investigations have not supported the allegations of mortgage fraud.

"Beazer Homes has a long established commitment to managing and conducting business in an honest, ethical and lawful manner," the statement from the Atlanta-based company said.

Eyewitness News first reported on Friday that the state of North Carolina is investigating several local subdivisions in Charlotte because of high percentages of foreclosures.

In just the past five years, foreclosures have climbed 62 percent in Mecklenburg County, and those foreclosures are frustrating residents.

Shawna Smith said she and her neighbors thought they were living the American dream when they bought new homes in the Southern Chase community. But it wasn't long after Smith moved in that she started seeing foreclosure signs popping up throughout the Beazer Homes development.

"Some people weren't in their houses months before they were moving back out," Smith said.
Neighbors are just learning that what's happening in their community is not only upsetting, but could also be illegal. The residents say they believe Beazer Homes approved mortgages to unqualified candidates, which led to the high number of foreclosures.

For Smith that means a significant drop in her property value.

"I feel like I'm stuck. It's horrible," she said.

Smith says she hopes the FBI gets to the bottom of what has happened to her neighborhood.

"It's left a very bitter taste in my mouth," she said.

In the meantime, new Beazer developments are going up all across the Carolinas, and the company continues to sell and lend to new homebuyers.
  • RELATED STORY: Foreclosures Hit North Charlotte Neighborhood Hard
    http://www.wsoctv.com/news/11419136/detail.html?taf=char
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