Consumers warned about shady estate sales

Consumers warned about shady estate sales

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 2 at 9:40 AM

SALEM -- Unlike auctions, estate sales are totally unregulated by any city, state or federal agency. That could change as a bill may be introduced in the upcoming legislative session.

Marie Walsh hopes the bill passes after going months without hearing a thing from the man who sold her worldly possessions or getting any money.

“I never got any money from anything he sold, nothing, not even a penny,” Walsh said.

He had worked with Bill Mann, owner of Oregon Estate Services. Fred Boss with the Department of Justice said, “We've had about ten complaints [on Estate Services] in recent times.”

When asked if it’s considered theft, Boss said, “They have not been outright thieves, but they've delayed returning the property. They've delayed issuing the funds and sometimes whether it [the money] was adequate.”

Walsh’s son, Al Lyons is an attorney in Salem and he said Mann did not return any of their calls until KGW got involved.

Walsh’s step-son, Bob Walsh said, “Marie had lots of neat stuff, I would say the $10,000 estimate our realtor gave us for her things is fair, if not low.

Mrs. Walsh hired Mann to sell the possessions she left behind at her King City townhouse after she moved to an assisted living apartment last April. After that sale, she said she left multiple messages for Mann, but he never returned any calls until KGW got involved.

Only then did Mann agree to meet with the family to go over their inventory and pay them for the things he sold. But Mann never met with the family and never gave KGW an interview after he said he would.

Instead Mann sent Walsh’s son in Salem a check for $1,800.

“It’s not near enough to cover what he sold so we’re going after him to pay more,” Lyons said.

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