Should Illinois real estate brokers ‘freak out’ about California case?

A recent California Supreme Court decision involving square footage discrepancies of a luxury home includes both disclosure and dual agency issues, according to Illinois REALTORS® Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance in the January edition of Designated REALTOR® Legal News.

While Illinois brokers can take some comfort because of differences between state laws in California and Illinois, Urbance says there’s still a question of whether square footage is a materially adverse physical condition under Illinois law. Get a more detailed explanation of (Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company et al).

The latest edition of the electronic newsletter for managing brokers also provides: five legal case studies, Illinois real estate disciplinary actions, new laws for the new year, a state housing forecast, updated downloadable legal forms and RVOICE brochures, and a reminder about year-end record-keeping.

Read the details.

California case discussion just one part of December Legal Webinar

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A November decision by the California Supreme Court purportedly about the law of agency was really a disclosure case related to square footage of a home, according to Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance and Transaction Helpline Attorney Jeff Baker at the Illinois REALTORS® Legal Webinar Thursday morning in Springfield.

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Betsy Urbance

The case of Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company Services centered on the advertised living space and records that showed less square footage. A suit by Horiike contended that Coldwell Banker and the seller’s agent should have known or learned about the discrepancy and disclosed it. Although dismissed at trial as a nonsuit, the California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Horiike. The California Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals decision.

However, Urbance and Baker said this case should not cause association members to worry as the case was truly one about disclosure. The Illinois Real Estate License Act has the presumption of designated agency, which is different than the California agency laws and brokers in Illinois only have a duty to disclose material physical defects they are actually aware of. The real question in Illinois, they said, is whether a “defect” is a known latent physical defect in the property.

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Jeff Baker

Horiike v. Coldwell Banker is just one of several cases discussed by the Illinois REALTORS® Legal Services team.

Other topics mentioned during the webinar included state and federal legislation scheduled to expire in late December or go into effect in January. Also the team talked about reviewing insurance coverages, updates to Illinois REALTORS® forms, record-keeping and answering questions from members.

For more information on this member-only benefit, REALTORS® can log in and download the webinar or listen to the audio-only version.

 

Don’t forget Legal Webinar tomorrow morning

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Members can login at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 for the final Illinois REALTORS® Legal Webinar of 2016, “Recent Case Reviews, Legislation and Year-end Items.”

Join Illinois REALTORS® Legal Helpline Attorney Jeff Baker and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance for this free, member-only benefit. Space is limited, so login and join the webinar promptly, either by WebEx or by phone.

 

Next legal webinar features ‘Recent Case Reviews, Legislation and Year-end Items’

Bigstock photo

Bigstock photo

Members can login at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 for the final Illinois REALTORS® Legal Webinar of 2016, “Recent Case Reviews, Legislation and Year-end Items.”

Join Illinois REALTORS® Legal Helpline Attorney Jeff Baker and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance for this free, member-only benefit. Space is limited, so login and join the webinar promptly, either by WebEx or by phone.

CFPB power among topics that attract exceptional webinar attention

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U.S. Supreme Court Building (Bigstock Photo)

Nearly 130 Illinois REALTORS® participated in Thursday morning’s Legal Webinar titled “Rules Revisions and Illinois REALTORS® Forms Updates.”

illinois-realtors-legal-webinar-iconLegal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance and Transaction Helpline Attorney Jeff Baker noted that the number of members participating was nearly twice the normal number.

They kicked off the webinar with an explanation of the U.S. federal appeals court decision earlier this month in the case of PHH Corp. vs. the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding Section 8 of RESPA. Among other things, the decision overturned a kickback enforcement action by the CFPB last year that included a multi-million-dollar fine.

cfpb logoThe CFPB, said Baker, ruled that PHH had received kickbacks from referrals for mortgage insurance to one of its affiliates even though no money was ever received by PHH. The federal appeals court disagreed completely with the CFPB’s substantive arguments and cited constitutional issues with the agency’s structure. The CFPB is expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more information on this issue, read a recap of the case by the National Association of REALTORS®.

It is just one of several subjects discussed during the webinar.

For more information on this member-only benefit, REALTORS® can log in and download the webinar or listen to the audio-only version.