If someone gets hit with a lock box, the attacker belongs in jail, not on the street selling real estate. However, the Minnesota Department of Commerce decided a seven month suspension was plenty for this dangerous agent.
Not only did agent Bill Bernier, a licensed real estate agent in Minnesota, beat a client with a lock box, he also violated a restraining order and threatened employees of a Saint Paul based inspection company.
Unlike other professions including doctors and lawyers, criminal convictions to not automatically disqualify someone from earning or maintaining a real estate license. Those decisions are up to a state agency, such as the Department of Commerce in Minnesota.
After the seven months suspension, Bernier got back to work for another five years and caused loads of trouble for his clients, including the violent interaction with a client.
In June 2008 and March 2009, Beriner pleaded guilt to two separate misdemeanors for failing to provide truth-in-sale-of-housing reports to home buyers. Then in June 2009, Bernier began working with a new client, Oxford Dixon, to help him sell his Saint Paul home to avoid foreclosure.
Bernier pressured Dixon into signing blank purchase and listing agreement forms. When they were completed and returned to Dixon, the price was $10,000 less than an agreed on listing price. When Dixon fired Bernier, Bernier sued him in court, and lost.
That was the final straw, and Bernier did eventually lose his license, five years too late.
Always interview and research any agent before choosing someone to work with. Otherwise your hard earned money, and apparently your safety, may be in jeopardy.
Read the entire story at the Star Tribune.