At any informal gathering of real estate professionals these days the discussion often turns to the same topic: cyber scams. Home sales are a lucrative target for fraudsters because large sums of money are involved and the financial transfers are not done in person. So it is well worth your time to protect your company in advance. Here are four tips for doing that. Continue Reading Four Tips to Help Your Real Estate Business Avoid Cyber Scams

For decades, federal courts have slowly freed class-action plaintiffs from the burdens of statutes of limitations, which bar the filing of lawsuits after a specified period of time. A recent decision from a federal appellate court shows that we have likely reached the logical conclusion of those efforts, one in which related class actions can be filed one after another, with no real time limit. Continue Reading Serial Class Actions Are Fine, Ninth Circuit Holds

In the on-going legal battle over PHH Corporation’s reinsurance practices, the federal government is at loggerheads with itself. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defends the constitutionality of its structure; the United States (meaning, the Trump administration) opposes it. Although that scenario may seem odd, the Dodd-Frank Act envisioned it—and protected the nascent the bureau from having to surrender its independence. Continue Reading In a Fight Between the CFPB and the United States, Who Wins?

One area of real-estate compliance that receives little attention is the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. That law requires lenders to report certain mortgage data to the federal government. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, had shoddy procedures for collecting HMDA data, and, as a result, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently fined the company $1.75 million. Continue Reading Nationstar Mortgage Hit with Largest HDMA Penalty Ever

One strategy companies can try when defending against potential class-action liability is to seek insurance protection, typically from an errors-and-omissions policy. If coverage is questionable and the insurer balks, a possible window opens: The insured could settle with the plaintiff and assign its policy rights to the class, which can then pursue the insurer. A recent decision in Illinois shows that this sort of three-billy-goats-guff strategy does not always succeed—at least for the class. Continue Reading Class-Action Plaintiffs Fail to Secure Insurance Windfall

Several consumers have accused First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation of engaging in allegedly improper advertising and business practices. Their bid to have their complaints decided on a nationwide basis ran aground last month when a federal court in San Diego denied their motion for class certification. The main problem with the consumers’ claims, the court found, was that customers had not been uniformly exposed to the same marketing statements. Continue Reading Attack on Home-Warranty Plans Unsuited for Class Certification, Federal Court Finds