Note: This is the third story of four detailing the legal travails of Bella Vita Custom Homes, and the trail of dissatisfied customers, subcontractors and investors they left in the wake of their bankruptcy. You can keep up with the entire series here.
Lisa Brankin is an Austin-based Realtor who isn’t even sure she wants to be one anymore.
Brankin said she, her husband, and another couple, Brian and Elizabeth Boyer, formed a limited liability corporation called Belle Amici Properties LLC in order to invest with Bella Vita Custom Homes. The plan, she said, was to build a home in Spanish Oaks, a private golf community in Bee Cave, near Austin.
“They approached us and said they had an ‘investor program’ where they build us a home at ‘cost’ and then we (as owners) sell it,” she explained. “Whatever it sells for we then split the profit with them 50/50.”
“In essence, they were getting investors like us to finance all of their spec homes, creating the image that they were a cash-rich company,” Brankin said. “It was the perfect plan. They carried no debt or liability and had access to all of the cash.” (more…)