Industry News

Real estate companies deny kickback allegations

RE/MAX, Cendant have no knowledge of fee-splitting investigations

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Real estate brands RE/MAX and Century 21, along with mortgage lenders Citigroup and Wells Fargo, may have been involved in alleged kickback schemes involving title insurance companies in California, according to news sources. The corporations associated with these brands have denied any knowledge about the investigations. According to a Los Angeles Times report, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi named the companies as playing a role in the alleged schemes in which title insurance companies overcharge home buyers for title insurance, then split the fees with developers, home builders and real estate agents who sent the business their way. Kevin Doell, a spokesman for international real estate brokerage powerhouse Cendant Corp., said, "Cendant expects all of its affiliates to be accountable and to act responsibly at all times." He said that Cendant has not been directly contacted about the investigation of alleged kickbacks. He also said he is not aware that any corp...