RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A serious allegation against one of the nation's top ten builders. Unhappy clients who called 12 say they got government money they were not entitled to, and they blame Ryan Homes for giving them bad advice.
These couples say they were misled. They claim Ryan Homes instructed them to apply for the first time, homebuyer's tax credit with no loan pre-approval. Now, they're stuck with having to pay back the IRS. They got the money but, no house.
"I said 'This is going to be my address?' She said 'This is going to be your address. This is where you'll be living, go on and get your money girl.' She said, 'Go get it,'" said Tracy
Tracy and Edward Hayes got it. An $8,000 tax credit for purchasing a new home that does not exist. There should be a house on this lot.
"To advise us to amend our taxes with an address that they said was our future home. We should have never been advised to do that but we trusted them," Tracy said.
They signed a Ryan Homes contract in March for a $238,000 home in the new Silverleaf development. Ryan Homes told them to file for the free money right away. They say use the address to the empty lot...pay off debts, clean up their credit, and use the rest for the down payment.
"We got a letter from the Vice President of Ryan so we kind of felt like, everything was on the up and up," she said.
Kamyele and Jerron Dennis say they did what they were told also after signing a contract to build an 184,000 townhome in Silverleaf. They used the address to a townhouse that is still unfinished today.
"She told me to use the date that we signed the paperwork in the mortgage office," said Kamyele Dennis. "They told us this is what you do. This is how you use it."
Neither couple qualified for a loan, after paying off all their debts, the money is gone. The Dennis' learned from another realtor what they did is illegal.
"I'm scared of the penalties on top of the money and what if they try to prosecute me like I did something intentionally," Kamyele said. "They gave advice as if they were tax experts basically saying you go ahead and do this and they'll take care of it from there."
Now, Ryan Homes isn't talking....
At least 5 employees from sales to the in-house mortgage company knew about the instructions the couples' say. NBC12 gave the list of names to the company attorney over the phone. Every office we walked in, we got the same refrain.
"I'm not one of those people, so again, contact our main office," said an employee.
Ryan Homes released both couples from their contracts and offered both, $2,500.
"She said if you take the $2,500, you have to sign saying that you can't say anything," Kamyele said.
"I'd rather expose them, Ryan, for what they did, than to accept $2,500 just to keep quiet," Jerron said.
They want a house and Ryan Homes to payback the illegally gotten tax credits.
"Somewhere down the line that they are held accountable for what they have done to my family," said Tracy.
"We moved out in April to go stay with family until the townhouse was ready... We're still with family," Jerron said.
A third couple accepted Ryan Homes' $2,500 offer. The Hayes and Dennis' are hoping someone steps up, and helps them legally. Meantime the IRS has been made aware of the allegation against Ryan Homes. We were told, it can't discuss specific taxpayers' matters but it aggressively pursues such complaints.