The following is an online post by an obviously unhappy investor who put his money in a non-traded real estate investment trust known as Behringer Harvard.
“I’ve been burned by Behringer Harvard. I sent my request for distribution in on Feb. 10 of 2009. They denied me (and others) without any notice at their next board meeting (after making me resend the damn thing because I needed a special medallion signature stamp from my bank!).
“I wasn’t getting my money for any reason other than I’d been unemployed since June of 2008 and needed money to live! To find out I could only get my money out if I died was so morose and in bad taste that I wrote appeal after appeal to the board…only to be told to die or become disabled…and then ‘get in line with everyone else.’!”
That investor – who signs his post as “Larry” – goes on to write that “no one ever told him that this thing wasn’t liquid or would ever have these kinds of issues. No one ever told me that the valuation was completely a fiction. They’d just raised another few hundred million and then closed the doors on everyone!”
Larry’s situation is shared by a growing number of investors who put their faith and money in non-traded REITs. In the past year, non-traded REITs such as Behringer Harvard REIT I have become front-page news, with investors filing complaints over what their brokers failed to disclose about the investments.
In the case of Behringer Harvard, as well as the Cole REIT III, Inland Western, Inland American, and other REITs, investors found themselves totally caught off guard after discovering, like Larry, that their investments were high-risk, illiquid and contained highly complex and lengthy exit clauses.
By the way, Larry’s post – and others like it – can be found on the REIT Wrecks forum. In addition to online discussions about non-traded REITs, the Web site provides in-depth data, news and analysis about the non-traded REIT industry.
Maddox Hargett & Caruso currently is investigating sales of non-traded REITs, including those associated with Behringer Harvard, Hines REIT I, Cornerstone, Inland American, and Inland Western. If you’ve suffered financial losses of $100,000 or more in a non-traded REIT and believe those losses are the result of inadequate information on the part of your broker/dealer, please contact us.