FTC settlement puts RealtyTrac in the tax, deed and mortgage data licensing business

CoreLogic agrees to license data to RealtyTrac to clear the way for DataQuick acquisition

A legal settlement that cleared the way for CoreLogic’s acquisition of DataQuick Information Systems Inc. also puts foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac in the tax, deed and mortgage data licensing business — making it the first new entrant in the field since Fidelity National Financial Inc. purchased IDM Corp. in 2001.

On Monday, data aggregator CoreLogic agreed to settle a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission that its proposed $661 million acquisition of DataQuick was likely to result in less competition in the market for national assessor and recorder bulk data. The settlement requires CoreLogic to license national assessor and recorder bulk data to RealtyTrac, and several other data sets that DataQuick provides to its customers.

Listing data image via Shutterstock.
Listing data image via Shutterstock.

The dataset RealtyTrac is licensing includes hundreds of fields for each property parcel nationwide, including the history of sales transactions and details such as sales date, price, buyer, seller and foreclosure status at time of sale going back to the year 2000 in most areas.

“Just as RealtyTrac disrupted the hidden distressed market with its democratization of foreclosure data when I first joined the company nearly a decade ago, we now have the ability to be a positive disruptive force in the entire universe of housing information, in which there have been limited options to acquire and analyze record-level real estate data,” said Richard Sawicky, RealtyTrac’s senior director of database technology, in a statement.

In its complaint, the FTC said the combination of CoreLogic’s and DataQuick’s national assessor and recorder bulk data businesses would leave just two providers of assessor and recorder data — CoreLogic and Lender Processing Services —  increasing the risk of anticompetitive coordination and the risk that CoreLogic would unilaterally exercise market power and raise prices.

In announcing that it had completed its acquisition of DataQuick, CoreLogic said Tuesday it had agreed to license real property public record data “for a limited term.”

The proposed settlement order requires CoreLogic to provide the licensed data to RealtyTrac for a “period of no less than five years,” but a settlement monitor can authorize up to two one-year extensions “as necessary to achieve the remedial purposes” of the order.

RealtyTrac CEO Jamie Moyle said in a statement that the company will continue to grow its aggregation department “even further to make more data available to our customers, but this was a big step.”

He said RealtyTrac intends to “bring the same creativity, flexibility and transparency to the market for tax, deed and mortgage data that it brought to the foreclosure data market” when it launched that the business more than 10 years ago. RealtyTrac became a provider of local and environmental data two years ago with the acquisition of Homefacts.

RealtyTrac has hired former LPS and X1 Analytics executive Brian Mushaney to head up its file licensing division.

Mushaney said RealtyTrac will stand out from its competitors because it does not have “channel or client-specific conflict with our potential license partners” and that the company “has the internal knowledge and expertise to quickly enable innovative new products that continue to challenge the status quo of buying, selling and analyzing real estate.”


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