The Real Deal New York

Bond New York sued over allegedly unpaid bills

Bank of America, StreetEasy claim brokerage owes them money
By David Jones | March 27, 2013 09:00AM

Bond New York, the Manhattan-based residential brokerage, is facing a lawsuit from Bank of America after allegedly defaulting on $750,000 in loans. The action comes a few days after StreetEasy, the listings provider, sued the firm claiming it failed to pay a hefty advertising bill. 

The firm took out a $500,000 loan in March 2008 and a $250,000 loan in November 2010, both of which were personally guaranteed by Bruno Ricciotti and Noah Freedman, the co-founders of Bond, according to the suit filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court.

Bank of America alleges that the brokerage failed to pay the second loan upon maturity, leading to a default on both loans. As of March 4, the remaining balance totaled roughly $314,000 in principal and interest, the bank claims.

“As a policy we do not comment on specifics regarding ongoing discussions, litigations or disputes that are a matter of course for a business of Bond’s size,” said Anthony Abraham, an attorney for the firm, in a statement to The Real Deal. “We remain staunchly confident that any pending matters will be resolved.”

Founded in 2000, Bond is one of the largest and fastest-growing residential firms in Manhattan. The brokerage has about 500 agents who work out of its headquarters at 1776 Broadway near Columbus Circle and four other locations around the borough.

A spokesperson for Bank of America confirmed that the lawsuit involved an alleged default, but would not comment further. Christopher Schuller, an attorney at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, who represents Bank of America, was not immediately available for comment.

The action comes on the heels of a suit that StreetEasy filed March 18 claiming that Bond failed to pay $68,000 worth of advertising services rendered between September 2010 and December 2011.

Bond had agreed to buy a StreetEasy listing package that provided the brokerage with 25 featured listings per week for each month it paid for the service. However, Bond asserted that it thought the StreetEasy agreement was binding for a single month, lawyers for StreetEasy claimed.

“This is a routine billing dispute we are addressing with StreetEasy and expect to be resolved,” Abraham said.

Isaac Zaur, an attorney at Clarick Gueron Reisbaum who represented StreetEasy, declined to comment. A representative for StreetEasy also declined to comment.

Bond has also tangled with rival firm A.C. Lawrence Real Estate in court.

A.C. Lawrence, now part of the Bellmarc Group, claimed in a 2011 suit that agents who had joined Bond from the now defunct brokerage Century 21, as well as Bond executives, had hacked its proprietary listings database. Bond has continued to deny the allegations, and the firms came to a settlement earlier this month, according to court records.

“Both parties, in consultation with their attorneys, decided to have peace in their time,” Philip Greenberg, the attorney representing A.C. Lawrence, told The Real Deal today. “I think it was just a Solomonic decision to come to terms.”

He declined to comment on the terms of the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Abraham said the “dispute was settled as a nuisance matter.”