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Realogy and PHH move to dismiss RESPA class action lawsuit

Companies argue that plaintiffs’ claims exceed the one-year statute of limitations
  • Realogy and PHH face a lawsuit that alleges they violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by operating a "sham" affiliated business arrangement.
  • In their motion to dismiss, filed Feb. 5, the companies argued that the plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred by RESPA’s one-year statute of limitations.
  • The plaintiffs asked the court to suspend that deadline by 10 years -- specifically, to Jan. 31, 2005, the date that Realogy and PHH entered into their Strategic Relationship Agreement.

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Real estate brokerage franchisor Realogy Holdings, mortgage lender PHH and a slew of the companies’ real estate and settlement services partners have moved to dismiss a class action filed against them in California federal court. The lawsuit alleges that they violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by operating a "sham" affiliated business arrangement. The case, Strader and Hall, et al., v. Realogy, et al., filed in November, alleges that Realogy and PHH used their 10-year-old joint venture, PHH Home Loans, to refer homebuyers to their title insurance and settlement service partners in exchange for fees and other kickbacks, a violation of Sections 8(a) and 8(c)(4) of RESPA, the anti-kickback portions of the federal statute. In their motion to dismiss, filed Feb. 5, the companies argue that the plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred by RESPA’s one-year statute of limitations. The plaintiffs admitted this was true but asked the court to reconsider based ...