A Matthews real estate broker’s license has been suspended for 18 months after he forged a homebuilder’s initials on a contract page.
Spencer T. Bensch said he was trying to help the buyer of a speculative home in the Millbridge subdivision in Waxhaw establish residency before the 2015-16 school year began so that the client’s child could sign up for middle-school band.
“What I did was absolutely incorrect, it was a bad judgment,” said Bensch. “But the only thing I was trying to do was help my client.”
The license suspension for Bensch, who at the time worked for BSI Builder Services, a division of the Allen Tate Family of Companies, will be stayed March 1 if he completes a real estate ethics course and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s “Issues and Answers in N.C. Real Estate Practice Course.”
The commission suspended his license effective Sept. 1, after he admitted having forged a Bonterra Builders official’s initials on a page in the offer to purchase in July 2015, according to the commission.
That page, including a specific construction completion date of Oct. 28, was substituted for a page that contained a range of construction completion dates.
Bensch said the client had a deadline of Aug. 1 to establish residency, and in his haste to provide her with proof, he initialed the document on behalf of the builder without adding his initials to indicate he was signing for someone else.
He said that when he learned that the client’s lease on corporate housing expired Oct. 28, the date given on the document for residency, he offered to pay for the additional two weeks of the lease until the house was ready.
“As soon as I found this out, I went to her and said, ‘This is my fault,’” said Bensch.
“What I did was wrong, but not only did she not get hurt, she benefited from my actions,” he said.
When BSI discovered the forgery, the company terminated Bensch, effective Oct. 8, and notified the commission.
Bensch said he was surprised at the severity of the penalty, and that he hasn’t decided if he will return to real estate.
Bensch added that his golf game and yard have improved considerably.
“I’m 68 years old and got into this 10 years ago,” he said. “The day I left, I retired. I had good years.”