A growing number of real estate professionals are putting their expertise in dealing with lenders to work in helping troubled borrowers avoid foreclosure by negotiating loan modifications or short sales. But with regulators on the lookout for shady operators who make false claims about the foreclosure prevention services they provide, it's important to stay abreast of rules that can vary by state. In California, real estate brokers must enter into advance fee agreements with borrowers if they plan to collect fees upfront for the services they and their agents provide. Any fees collected in advance must be placed in a trust account that's drawn upon when services are performed. Before brokers can collect the fees, the California Department of Real Estate must sign off on the fee ...
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