Welcome to the RE Insider….

In today’s environment, it is not hard to understand why consumers seek transparency and trust when buying property.  

This blog is designed to help buyers understand their rights and the protection afforded to them by the government. This blog will alsobe looking into numerous violators and informing my readers and home buyers whom and what to avoid when buying a home.

 There are many regulatory agencies created to do this.  They include the California Department of Real Estate, the California Department of Corporations that regulate escrow, the California Insurance Commissioner’s office that regulates title and title insurance,  the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the federal agency that regulates RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act),  written specifically for consumer protection, etc.

If we were to try to find one common denominator between all these agencies, we can summarize by saying that each state and federal agency is supposed to provide oversight, control and ensure honesty and transparency on all real estate property purchasing processes.  

Why does this matter? Despite the fact that these agencies should be controlling the honesty on the real estate property transaction, the process is continually and blatantly being violated. Many companies are cheating consumers and taking non-disclosed profits for themselves while ignoring the laws, regulations and the rights of the buyer. 

For example, it is illegal for a title company to influence or direct home buyers to purchase insurance and other products from their sister companies. Yet this is done all the time.

 Marx Sterbcow has for example written a great piece on what to do if you think your rights have been violated.  

 Click here or read the summary below:

http://www.respalawyer.com/2009/02/respa_violations_how_to_submit_1.html

Here’s his step by step instructions on HOW TO SUBMIT A RESPA VIOLATION COMPLAINT WITH HUD

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a mechanism for consumers and others to file a complaint with RESPA if RESPA violations are being committed or you believe that RESPA violation is being committed. If a complaint is going to be filed with the RESPA division please make sure you follow the following steps so your complaint gets the most attention from the investigators:

  1. List the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the alleged RESPA violators;
  2. Write a detailed summary of what happened or what’s happening that leads you to believe that a violation is taking or has taken place;
  3. Make sure you list the specific section of the RESPA statute that was violated. Often regulators or investigators will miss even the most generic of violations so listing the appropriate violations will help them do their job better;
  4. Check your spelling and make sure the complaint is coherent and easily understood to the reader; and
  5. Include your name, phone number, and address in the complaint so that an investigator can contact you for more information, if they need to contact you. RESPA Complaints can be submitted confidentially to HUD as well.

Once you have completed this, send your RESPA violations complaint to this address:

             United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
             Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales 
             451 7th Street, SW, Room 9154
             Washington, D.C. 20410

Please note: the RESPA Division does have a limited number of staff, fewer than 30, and the number of violations is in the thousands so the more detailed and professional the complaint is the more weight it will carry.

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So what is RE Insider anyway?

This blog is designed to discuss a topic I feel very strongly about – the RESPA Act.

What is RESPA? The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act