Whitener & Flynn Properties LLC Management Shutdown – New Discussion Forum for Former Clients

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Over the past week and a half, (Part 1 & Part 2) I have written about my experience with a management company that was working for me called Whitener & Flynn Properties LLC out of St. Louis, MO. This company shut down with no notice, leaving many property owners and tenants in a terrible position.

If you have been affected by the closure of this company, we will be enacting a discussion area where we can share information and keep one another informed about what’s going on.

Whitener & Flynn Properties LLC
The principals of the company were:
Amber C. Flynn
Travis Whitener

According to the WF website – wfproperties.com (no longer operating)
Agents of the company were:
Amy C. Jones
Ann Schrodt
Bay Tran
Terrence Harris
Jill Cooling

For more information and to discuss the company, its closure, and any other related matters, visit: Whitener & Flynn Properties LLC Management Discussion Forum

Feel free to comment with any thoughts, ideas, etc. . .

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded BiggerPockets.com when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.

25 Comments

  1. As one of the principal owners of the now closed Whitener & Flynn Properties, it is hard to read these accounts. Some accounts are true; some are false; some are extremely embelished. For years and up until our closing, we were very proud of the service that we provided to our Clients, which you yourself boasted about, as did many of our Clients. Our growth was mostly word of mouth. We were always very timely with our payments, took good care of tenants and were a member of the Better Business Bureau. I wanted to provide the facts on our side so that at least everyone would know where we stand. I know that this is an extremely difficult time for all our past Clients and their tenants.

    As a property manager, we are contractually obligated to care for certain issues. Example: a tenant calls with a major roof issue. The estimate is $3000; the owner has $300 in their account. We still must go ahead with the repair. If that tenant moves, the owner refuses to make payment, the buiding is sold or foreclosed on we are stuck with the bill. The same is said for mortgages, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc. This is a problem for any property manager, but as most of you know (especially you Josh, who’s been turned away by one property manager thus far), we managed properties in high risk areas that most property managers would not dare take. That fact coupled with the fall-out of the real estate market, made negative Client invoices skyrocket. There are many past clients that owe Whitener & Flynn Properties money – tens of thousands of dollars. These negative invoices have been accumulating over the course of 3 plus years.

    So after reviewing the company’s financials, speaking with an attorney and doing much research, Travis Whitener and I voted to close Whitener & Flynn Properties on July the 3rd. So that the company did not accrue anymore owed balances, we closed as soon as possible, to stop collecting the rent and paying out expenses. Once we explained our situation to our attorney, that is what we were advised. Since the 4th of July was a holiday, letters went out on July 5th. We understand that this was extremely short notice, but the other alternative was to keep collecting rent that we may or may not have been able to pay out. On July 10th, we laid off all our employees, sent all licenses back to the Real Estate Commission and ceased all property management/real estate activities.

    Our employees worked so hard for us and were committed to your success, and now, they are without jobs. Please don’t harass them. Travis and I soley handled the company’s financials. They were in as much shock as all of you.

    We paid out as many Clients as we could. And yes there were contractors that didn’t get paid because we felt that our Clients were owed that money first. Another round of cashier’s checks are going out today to past Clients, from owed monies collected, and we will continue to send out monies to past Clients as the Clients that owed us money pay up.

    Travis and I are very remorseful for what has happened. He and I have nothing. Our personal rental buildings have been foreclosed on, we are months behind on our bills (and could be losing our personal homes/cars/etc). We have already consulted with a Bankruptcy attorney, but honestly, don’t have the money to file. We’ve cashed out our personal savings, 401K, etc to pay out everything that we could.

    We do want to thank all of the Clients and tenants who have shown support to us during this difficult time, especially considering that is equally, if not more difficult for them.

    If any past Clients have questions or concerns, please call 314-481-2567. I know that there are lots of rumors floating around, understandably so, but please call us. If there is no answer, leave a message and Travis and/or myself will call you back.

  2. I’d like to clarify one point made by Amber. She claimed “especially you Josh, who’s been turned away by one property manager thus far”

    Certain management companies would not work with me by virtue of the locations of the properties. I have not been “turned away” for any fault of mine.

    I wanted to be sure that this was extremely clear!

  3. Scott Casinger on

    Hello everyone,

    fortunately I am only out $1800, money which I am sure I will never see, but what Amber and Travis don’t realize, despite the advice of their “attorneys”, is that they have committed a crime. This is fraud, and is punishable by criminal conviction.

    She claims that rent money was used to pay delinquent accounts, but that is not correct. None of us were partners in Whitener and Flynn LLC. Our money, by Missouri Statutes, is to be held in a non-interest bearing escrow account. That money was for the sole purpose for each of our own properties, individually. Our money is, by law, to be held solely for the purpose of each of our own interests. My money was not there to pay for some bum landlord’s foreclosure, and Amber was solely responsible to protect this.

    Amber seems sweet, but really stupid. We are going to have to forget the money and pursue a criminal conviction. I intend to start on that on monday.

    I am sure we may need some law advice, and it may cost money, although a criminal proceeding should be handled by the state. A civil penalty, which will probably net us nothing, will have to be handled with private funds.

    Please email me if you have any questions [email protected].

    THANKS
    Scott Casinger
    636-577-2554

  4. I happened on this blog as I was surfingg looking for a mgt co in St Louis. I had called these people a few months ago as they had a sign on a property down the street from one I had in U-city. If any body finds any good property managers in the St Louis metro area please post it. I have a property manager I am not very happy with.

    Any body talked with Elite property mgt?

    Scott

  5. i’m owed about $2,300
    and from what i can tell
    lead the group in that dept

    i got to know amber a little
    and liked her and would take
    no pleasure in convicting her
    of anything

    and
    convicting her of something
    won’t get my money back

    so
    why should i do it?
    to protect the next
    guy down the line,
    maybe?

    and pay for the conviction
    from money i don’t have?

  6. I too, was ripped off. I never received one dime of my rent money. At the end they fabricated bills and never sent one receipt to show proof of all this work that was done. I called and spoke to a detective to file charges and will be flying out with the paperwork. I will contact Scott CAsinger through e-mail to see who he has contacted. I thought I was the only one in this bind. Has anyone picked another property management company yet. I don’t know who to trust. Amber and TRavis have never called me back. I have left countless messages on Amber’s cell phone to no avail. Let me know if anyone has a great managment company please. I will look for the blog.

  7. I spoke to Amber on July 9th. She stated that there were personal issues as the cause of the closing (mostly health issues). So I actually felt sorry for her, in retrospect, I know now she was lying. I have no problem pursuing a conviction. I heard there are methods to use public officials such as the senator, attorney general, etc..to help us without digging in our pockets. I had one property and I am owed 2500.

  8. My PM has a clause if I don’t repair the property they drop me with a 30 day notice. I am sure the property will not implode in 30 days. This seems like a fly by night company. I don’t blame a PM for not wanted to take some properties. I always ask my PM to check the house out before I purchase, That is a clause on my contracts. If she doesn’t want it than I don’t want it. If anyone is interested I have an interview sheet I made up for PM shot me out an email [email protected] if anyone is interested. Have you considered asking a New Realtor about being a PM till you guys get back on track? Good Luck

  9. I lost 2000.00. They have not sent my any receipts that prove they did the work. I am filing a police rport and want to join in on the class action lawsuit. Has anyone found a decent property management company. I have a three bedroom house. I will be flying to St. Louis around the 12th and I am meeting with the detective. I called alot of companies today and some did not call back. Somebody help

  10. Hello all. Wow…this is a shock to me…I rented an apartment from W&F LLC from October 2006 until January 2007. There were some domestic issues that I will not go into which caused me to have to terminate my lease early. Basically, I left the apartment still owing them monies for rent (per the lease I signed, early termination fees, plus rent still owed for the last month I was there). Financially I was in a bind and unable to pay anything, so I never contacted them to make payment arrangements after I knew I would never return to the apartment. The lease indicates that I would owe them court costs plus sec. deposit plus rent owed…In talking with a new potential landlord I discover that I must find out if this has been turned into a judgement, stating that I owe the funds.

    This morning I come to the computer to look up the number for W&F LLC, only to find out that they are now out of business. My question: do I still owe the money? how do I find out how much I owe (the mailbox to that 481-2567 number is full, and I doubt they would return my calls)?

  11. Pingback: The Whitener & Flynn Properties Management Saga Continues | Real Estate Investing for Real Blog

  12. I spoke to a property manager and I was told that Amber and Travis have two big fancy red trucks and a real fancy office. So at least the money they got they put to good use for themselves. I have not received any receipts that show all this work was done. Have any of you? They lived high on the hog with our money. Travis had the nerve to tell me that he was sending my rent money when the whole time he was lieing and knew he had no intentions of sending it. He just took it.

  13. They owe me $2500. I first signed on with them in June 2007. They collected rents for June and July and I never got any of it. I have called and emailed Amber countless times without a response. I am interested in pursuing whatever legal actions are available. Please keep me informed.

  14. I am currently a commercial property manager and have done condos, etc. I am not my own company but would be willing to do something on the side if you are interested. I’m currently helping out one of my commercial tenants who was using this company and is left without receiving any payments since March, receipts, etc. from this company.
    This is good that you all have this sight here and I hope something gets done and you can all retrieve all or most of your money back.
    It is a criminal offense what they have done.
    I can be reached at 314-479-9686.

  15. I was also a client. They took my application in June and were suppose to start managing my property on July 1. They then contacted me in early July and said they were growing too quickly and were expanding. They said they would be unable to handle my property until Aug 1. I had already contacted my tenants and had let them know WF would be managing the property so I had to contact them again to make them aware of the delay and make sure rent was paid directly to me. I guess the inconvenience they caused me may actually worked out to my benefit.

    Fortunately I am not owed anything but they do have my original leases and keys to the property. It is a small thing compared to what the rest of you are going through but I would like these back. I am also curious how this plays out. I will be checking back here to see what is happening.

    There just does not seem to be any good property management companies in the St. Louis area.

    Mike

  16. What’s funny is that a year ago I applied with them for a property management position on top of what I do and I wasn’t comfortable for some reason and didn’t take the job.
    The property owner that I manage for that was ripped off by them is still being sent bills. We did get the keys and leases back however yet he is still owed quite a bit of money.
    Once again, I want to put out there that I am a commercial property manager and work with a few other people managing their properties. I have current references and can take on some clients.
    If interested, you can contact me at 314-479-9686. My email is [email protected].
    Cindi A. Asher

  17. Patrick Hourihan on

    I’m not sure if anyone is still actively involved with these properties. I am a licensed Realtor in St. Louis and have assisted Tamara step by step getting her property re-habbed and Section 8 approved with a tenant. I am very familiar with the process and have handymen and others who are honest, dependable, AND reasonable.

    With these types of properties, I believe Section 8 is the best alternative. You get a guaranteed government check each month, the tenant has a vested interest in not destroying the property, AND you don’t need to pay exhorbitant fees for property managment.

    If you are tired of being ripped off by dishonest property management companies, Realtors, handymen, and others, please consider contacting me. I would be happy to supply you with references (including Tamara). I would suggest you also check with the St. Louis Board of Realtors AND the Missouri Board of Realtors before dealing with myself or any agent or property managment company.

    Tamara has agreed to allow me to post her email if you wish to contact her at [email protected].

    I may be reached at [email protected]. I am a Keller Williams Realty agent in St. Louis. My website is http://www.PatHourihan.com My local contact number is 314-303-4400.

    After seeing what Tamara has experienced, I would like to offer my services to help out. Believe it or not, there ARE some honest people in the industry.

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