Orangetown Supervisor Chris Day and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee ask the state to create a cease and desist zone against aggressive solicitors at Orangetown Town Hall on Oct. 25, 2018. Carucha L. Meuse, email@example.com
Two years after shutting down aggressive door-to-door real estate solicitations, Orangetown wants to do the same thing to what officials call aggressive mailings pressuring residents to sell their homes.
Supervisor Chris Day was joined at Town Hall on Thursday by state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, whose 97th District includes Orangetown, to discuss the problem and what they want to do about it.
Here’s some takeaways from their news conference:
- Jaffee and Day said they had received dozens of calls and emailsfrom residents complaining about being incessantly targeted by mailings from real estate companies pressuring them to sell their homes — often right away and for cash.
- Some residents have received fliers that include a photo of their home taken from Google maps, asking the owner to sell.
- One such flier provided by Day that was sent to a Pearl River homeowner from Raven3 Home Buyers LLC reads: “If you could turn your house into CASH in as little as 10 days, without the need for home inspections or repairs, would you do it?
- Austin Deraaff of Raven3, whose name was listed on the flier, claimed his company didn’t solicit in Pearl River and didn’t know how the flier got sent there.
- Another mailer from HomeVestors reads: “You get cash and avoid most normal closing costs. You sell your house ‘as is,’ no cleaning or repairs to make. You can typically close quickly — if that’s what you want.
- In response, HomeVestors stated the company will remove households from its mailing lists through its Facebook page, or by calling the phone number listed on any of its mailers. The company stated its franchises are required to be in compliance with all laws and “has a long history of condemning illegal schemes and underhanded methods used by some real estate investors.”
- Day said the aggressive tactics were only being deployed by a small percentage of the real estate firms doing business in the town.
What residents should do
Day and Jaffee want homeowners to provide them with evidence of aggressive real-estate solicitations so they can make a case to the state for expanding the cease-and-desist zone.
Residents can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org her mailing address: 1 Blue Hill Plaza, P.O. Box 1549, Pearl River, NY 10965
They can also send examples to email@example.com to Town Hall, 26 Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962
Across the aisle
Thursday’s news conference brought together Day, a Republican, with Jaffee, a Democrat running for re-election on Nov. 6 against GOP challenger Rosario Presti, the mayor of Chestnut Ridge.
Tensions over the rapid growth of Chestnut Ridge’s Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish populations have been key issues among residents, as the village considers new guidelines for where houses of worship can be located.
Day said he and Jaffee had been discussing the issue for quite some time.
“We stood together today because I know she is honestly working to address this and other issues for my residents, and that’s all I care about when it comes to the political end of this,” Day said.
When reach afterward by email, Presti said Chestnut Ridge was not involved with the drafting or implementation of the cease and desist zone, and he was unable to gauge whether or not it was working.
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