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Know Exactly Who You're Working with

Updated: Feb 9

A few years ago, we took on the task of coming up with a mission statement for GetDocsNow. After weeks of contemplation, we finally settled on three simple words: Integrity, Compassion, and Commitment. These three words are at the core of everything we do and are undoubtedly in order. Integrity is and always has been at the foundation of GDN. Since starting GetDocsNow in 1999, I have always chosen integrity over adding to our profit, and over selling out to large corporations. For years, I have watched as others in our industry blatantly lacked integrity in their business dealings. In the last few years, our industry has changed, with new ownership of the two largest resale document companies to big tech and investment firms. I was hoping these changes might improve the integrity of these companies. Unfortunately, it did not.


Last year, we looked into how HomeWiseDocs is still overcharging customers in Nevada, two years after the law was changed to prevent their “additional fees”. While investigating this and the lawsuits against them in several states, we realized that their parent companies also have a history of similar business practices and lack of integrity.  After much consideration, I have decided it is finally time for me to share these findings publicly with the hope of educating those in the HOA management business and improving the health and reputation of the resale document industry. 


I know this may come off as sour grapes; admittedly, it might partially be that. As the owner of GetDocsNow, over the years, doing the right thing has been anything but easy as we have repeatedly lost out on clients to “signing bonuses”, kickbacks, and lies of all kinds. But I have had enough of silently sitting by being the little guy who does the right thing while the other companies get ahead by doing the wrong things.


As mentioned, our competitors have faced many lawsuits nationwide, a few of which we have looked into in detail. Additionally, some states have created laws specifically to curtail unethical business practices of other direct competitors in our industry. While we have examined this issue before, we have yet to expose the larger issues at play.


In late 2021 HomeWiseDocs, the largest company in our industry, was acquired by RealPage. According to RealPage they Provide data analytics, property management software, and services to efficiently manage rental properties and real estate”. RealPage also owns companies such as ClickPay and Buildium, which are also part of the HOA management industry. RealPaged is owned by ThomaBrovo, a large private equity firm.  RealPage and ThomaBrovo are facing over 20 class action lawsuits that have been consolidated into a Tennessee court. 



When RealPage tried to get the suit dismissed the DOJ stepped in stating that based on their findings RealPage violated the Sherman Act by acting as a “cartel” and participating in “horizontal price fixing”.


The judge subsequently denied the motion to dismiss. The lawsuit is ongoing.


Update: Two of the named co-defendants (management companies that used RealPage) have made the decision to settle. According to experts this is likely a quick way to stop paying legal fees but will “not get these companies out of the hot seat of the DOJ”.




In addition to the RealPage Lawsuits the ThomaBrovo family has faced many large lawsuits and fines in just the last few years:


In 2022 Buildium (A RealPage company just like HWD) paid a 100,000-dollar fine to the state of Massachusetts for discrimination. According to the Massachusetts attorney general Buildium “explicitly offered the option for landlords to unlawfully exclude recipients of government housing vouchers as well as tenants with certain felony convictions from consideration as tenants.”



ThomaBrova themselves are facing a lawsuit for the misrepresentation and promotion of the now infamous crypto scam FTX. After giving millions to the company and actively promoting the use of FTX they are being accused of “violating California state securities, business practices and advertising laws and of engaging in a civil conspiracy to induce crypto customers to open accounts at FTX.” Regardless of the outcome of this case, the heavy involvement with the disgraced FTX is an embarrassing point for any company.


So why am I bringing all this up? These cases show a pattern of lying, misrepresentation, a lack of caring for people, bribery, and a general profit-over-everything mentality. These are large-scale examples of the practices I have personally seen take place in our industry for years. 


I care about the HOA management industry. It is why we take time to help our clients in ways that don’t necessarily help us and why we follow all rules and seek ways to improve based on the rules, not despite them. The thing I want least of all is for HOA management companies to be put in danger of lawsuits or to be dealing with unethical companies. That is why I feel it is crucial for you to truly know who you’re working with. If you read this and choose not to make a change, that's fine; at least you know your decision and who you trust. But if ANY of this information is unsettling and has opened your eyes to whom you are dealing with, change is easy with GetDocsNow. GDN is an independently owned company at the cutting edge of technology with integrity at its core. 


For more information on this topic or to learn more about GDN click here to schedule a conversation with our CEO.


References

(All references are linked in the article)



Faraudo, F. (2024, February 7). The first defendants of the RealPage lawsuit just settled, will the rest follow?. Propmodo. https://propmodo.com/the-first-defendants-of-the-realpage-lawsuit-just-settled-will-the-rest-follow/


Frankel, A. (2023, February 15). Column: Latest FTX lawsuit casts Investors Sequoia, Thoma Bravo as co ... Reuters.com. https://www.reuters.com/legal/column-latest-ftx-lawsuit-casts-investors-sequoia-thoma-bravo-co-conspirators-2023-02-15/


Neelakandan, L. (2023, November 1). Major landlords, RealPage sued in DC for alleged rent-fixing scheme. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/01/realpage-landlords-sued-alleged-illegal-rent-hikes.html


Scarella, M. (2023, April 10). RealPage antitrust lawsuits over rent prices consolidated in Tennessee ... https://www.reuters.com/. https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/realpage-antitrust-lawsuits-over-rent-prices-consolidated-tennessee-2023-04-10/


US DOJ. (2023, July 14). Electronic Health Records Vendor NextGen Healthcare Inc. to pay $31 million to settle False Claims Act allegations. Office of Public Affairs | Electronic Health Records Vendor NextGen Healthcare Inc. to Pay $31 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations | United States Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/electronic-health-records-vendor-nextgen-healthcare-inc-pay-31-million-settle-false-claims





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