Industry News

Brokers, Property I.D. agree to $39 million settlement

Hazard disclosure reports subject to RESPA

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Californians who bought natural hazard disclosure reports when they listed their homes with Coldwell Banker, Prudential California Realty, RE/MAX, Century 21 or ERA Real Estate could soon be entitled to full refunds as part of a proposed $39.3 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit. The settlement agreement, which must still be approved by a federal district judge, stems from a lawsuit alleging that real estate brokers took kickbacks from the company that produced the reports, Property I.D. Corp., in exchange for referring business to the company. The kickbacks were allegedly paid through "sham" affiliated businesses, with brokers receiving about $25 for each report. Property I.D. and the real estate brokerages that partnered with the company in three jointly owned affiliated businesses deny wrongdoing. But Property I.D. and some of the brokers it partnered with have signed agreements with the Department of Housing and Urban Development stipulating that natur...