Byard Duncan

Engagement Reporter

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Byard Duncan is an engagement reporter based in Oakland, California. Before joining ProPublica, he spent seven years at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. There, he and a team of other reporters were named Pulitzer Prize finalists in 2019 for their work investigating Amazon’s high rate of worker injuries. He is the recipient of two Gerald Loeb Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a National Headliner Award and an Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award.

Record-Setting Blazes Are Growing More Common. Here’s What Survivors of One Want You to Know.

When the federal government accidentally triggered New Mexico’s largest wildfire, hundreds of people lost their homes and livelihoods. They have become reluctant students of forest management, disaster aid and resiliency.

“We Buy Ugly Houses” Company Overhauls Policies in the Wake of ProPublica Investigation

HomeVestors franchises will be required to provide prospective home sellers with a disclosure that includes a three-day window to terminate a sales contract.

In the Scar of New Mexico’s Largest Wildfire, a Legal Battle Is Brewing: What Is Victims’ Suffering Worth?

A wildfire accidentally started by the federal government drove them from their homes and destroyed the things they loved most about their land. The government will pay them only for things with a price tag.

Help ProPublica Investigate the World of Subprime Car Loans

More and more people are struggling to pay back loans on their used cars. Our journalists want to hear from the people who know the industry best.

Life in Limbo: Victims of New Mexico’s Biggest Wildfire Wait for Checks From the Federal Government to Rebuild

Congress set aside $4 billion to compensate victims after the U.S. Forest Service accidentally set the largest wildfire in state history. The vast majority of victims haven’t been paid, and many can’t rebuild until they are.

Homeowners Trying to Get Out of “We Buy Ugly Houses” Deals Find Little Relief in State, Federal Laws

ProPublica found few jurisdictions have laws or regulations to protect homeowners from aggressive real estate tactics short of fraud or elder abuse.

HomeVestors Said It Had Kicked Out a Top Franchisee Who Broke the Law. New Evidence Suggests It Didn’t.

The company said it had cut ties with Cory Evans, the former co-owner of Patriot Holdings LLC, “a number of years” ago, but texts, emails and interviews indicate he was still engaged in the business as recently as March.

“We Buy Ugly Houses” CEO Steps Down Following ProPublica Investigation

David Hicks, CEO of HomeVestors of America, said in a letter announcing his retirement that recent press coverage of the company’s homebuying practices has taken a “personal toll on me.”

Senators, Regulator Call for More Scrutiny of “We Buy Ugly Houses” Company

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s head said the Department of Justice and state attorneys general should be made aware of predatory house-flipping practices, following ProPublica reporting on HomeVestors of America.

Looking to Sell Your Home for Cash? Read This First.

Cash home buyers like the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company may offer a quick and convenient sale to homeowners. Here’s what experts say you should know about interacting with these companies.

Five Stories of Lives Upended After Dealing With the “We Buy Ugly Houses” Company

ProPublica found that HomeVestors franchises often target the homes of people in vulnerable or desperate situations. These are the stories of five people who found themselves in unwanted deals with a cash home buyer.

HomeVestors Praised ProPublica’s Reporting, Then Tried to “Bury It”

The “We Buy Ugly Houses” company held a virtual meeting for its franchises to outline a plan to “minimize visibility” of our investigation.

The Ugly Truth Behind “We Buy Ugly Houses”

HomeVestors of America, the self-proclaimed “largest homebuyer in the U.S.,” trains its nearly 1,150 franchisees to zero in on homeowners’ desperation.

The Federal Government Accidentally Burned Down Their Houses, Then Made It Hard to Come Home

FEMA told survivors of the largest wildfire in New Mexico history that it aimed to put temporary housing on their land. But because of its strict, slow-moving bureaucracy, that has happened only twice.

Help ProPublica Investigate “We Buy Houses” Practices

If you’ve had experience with a company or buyer promising fast cash for homes, our reporting team wants to hear about it.

Help ProPublica Investigate Threats to U.S. Democracy

We want to hear directly from the people involved in the administration of our elections — local clerks, canvassers, poll workers and more — about new challenges on the job.

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