Industry News

Real estate disclosure company sued for alleged kickbacks

Property I.D. denies claims over referral fee practices with Cendant affiliates

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A Southern California man alleges in a lawsuit that Cendant Corp.-affiliated real estate companies steered home buyers to purchase disclosure statements from a company that allegedly engaged in unlawful kickback or referral fee practices. The complaint, filed in August, charges that Coldwell Banker and possibly other Cendant affiliates illegally received a portion of fees paid by home buyers to Property I.D., a Los Angeles company that provides disclosure statement services for real estate transactions. But Sergio J. Siderman, Property I.D. president and COO, says the lawsuit is without merit, and is strikingly similar to an earlier lawsuit that the court dismissed. In California, natural hazard disclosure statements are required to make buyers aware that a property is in an area that is at risk of flooding, earthquakes or fires. Other states have similar disclosure requirements. The lawsuit charges that Coldwell Banker and possibly other Cendant affiliates "have entered into joi...