Many were older or Black homeowners in distress. Some were vulnerable to a Reconstruction-era property law abused so often that it has been rewritten in other states, but not North Carolina.

And most were left embittered or poorer by their encounters with Buncombe County real estate investor Robert Perry Tucker II, who acquired their houses and lands at far below market rates, a year-long Asheville Watchdog investigation found.

Note: This is Part 1 of Asheville Watchdog’s three-part investigation.

In a review of more than four dozen of Tucker’s real estate transactions since 2014, Asheville Watchdog found his companies have acquired interests in Buncombe properties for as little as $250 — or nothing at all. Many of the sales appear to have generated profits for Tucker while erasing years if not generations of home equity for property owners, nearly half of them Black people.

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