He Relentlessly Investigates Real Estate Fraudster Leonard Bale
Bill Proctor, WXYZ
7 Action News Investigator Bill Proctor broke the story about Leonard Bale, a West Bloomfield real estate investor who has been selling homes that buyers later found to be in some stage of foreclosure, according to property records.
We’ve now learned from our own news archives that Bale has been in business a long time and that there have been many complaints about the way he conducts business.
In a troubling scenario involving your tax dollars, Bale admitted guilt but only received a slap on the wrist. These days his business has grown, but many who have dealt with Bale over the years continue to ask: What can be done about Bale?
Bale sells mostly Wayne County houses that are in some state of foreclosure Local real estate experts reviewed the land contract deals and other records involving Bale’s properties. They say what he has done could result in criminal charges. We know the Wayne County Prosecutor is looking into him. But some are trying to warn others about Bale – and they are doing it by any means necessary.
One creative warning came in the form of a message on a bathroom wall in a house Bale sold to a local family. “Len Bale is a crook,” it reads. The short message also instructed readers to go to WXYZ.com. The writer clearly had seen our stories on Bale.
In our first report, Bale would not sit down for an interview or answer questions by phone. We caught up with him in a parking outside a Dearborn Heights courtroom. Bale said only, “I have an appointment.”
Bale sells houses on land contract. But many buyers, including those who gathered around a conference table here at 7 Action News last fall, discovered the home they were buying was in foreclosure. They didn’t learn this until it was too late. That means the bank or county owns the house, not Bale. Those buyers were out thousands of dollars in cash they put down, as well as the money each shelled out to fix up the property.
But the people we talked to are just a handful of the many who have crossed Bales’ path. Bale has been around a long time—and he has been dodging questions along the way.