Industry News

HUD sues Property I.D., brokers over kickbacks

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A California company that produces natural hazard disclosure reports -- and the real estate brokers it shared profits with -- broke the law by creating sham companies to funnel illegal kickbacks, a lawsuit by federal regulators alleges. The company, Property I.D., is accused of forming sham affiliated businesses with Realogy Corp., Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Corp., and two other brokers doing business as Prudential California Realty. The lawsuit, filed by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleges violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, which prohibits kickbacks. Earlier this week, Property I.D. announced it had filed its own lawsuit against HUD, in which it sought to end a nearly two-year-long investigation into its business practices (see Inman News story). Property I.D.'s suit claimed that its natural hazard disclosure reports are not subject to RESPA requirements because th...