Some Agents Should Lose their Real Estate License

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.

7 thoughts on “Some Agents Should Lose their Real Estate License

  1. I am currently renting a home from this clown. I have had to file a rent escrow to try and force him to fix up the death trap he rented me. I moved from southern Minnesota and saw the home before renting it. It obviously needed work but he promised all the work would be done by the move in date. He did nothing, no work not even an attempt to clean. Then, last week, he assaulted one of his workers that was supposed to start some work here last week. I don’t get how this guy is not in jail. We go to court Monday. Last time he was found in contempt do court for outbursts. Should be a real long day.

    • Anew:
      Yes, a long day, but a day that may go in your favor. Be sure to bring lots of pictures of the condition, your move-in inspection or condition report (if he furnishes one), your lease, and any agreement you had that he would fix things. Also bring a copy of all text messages and emails you may have in communicating with the landlord. Be sure that you have a specific list of repairs that you want done and insist on a deadline. Also request that should these repairs not be completed, you can terminate the lease agreement without any fines and a full refund of your security deposit. In other words, make sure you have an exit strategy should he not perform. Best of luck in court.

    • Just curious. If you’re renting, and he hasn’t fulfilled his agreement to fix up the apartment, why don’t you move? Rather than going to court to have him fix the place up, I’d go in there for the purpose of terminating the lease. Why deal with this if you don’t have to?

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Anew. It is horrible that these types of people are allowed to stay out there and keep defrauding innocent people. Good luck with everything!

  3. Wow! I appreciate you sharing your story to raise awareness. Hope things go well from now on!
    Good luck.

  4. I am currently helping my brother move into one of his properties in Maplewood. It seems to be a total s**t hole so I decided to Google him. I feel absolutely TERRIBLE. My brother and his new fiance were to move here , finally combining their 2 families. I don’t even know what to say to him about this 🙁

  5. I am currently helping my brother move in to one of his properties. He paid him a deposit and now I have a feeling it will be impossible to get his deposit back. The neighbor said they were cooking meth here. Ugh….

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