by: Michael L. Rich
The New Jersey Law Journal reports the filing of three putative class actions on March 16, 2011 alleging that real estate brokers defraud buyers and sellers by charging administrative fees for services covered by commissions. Specifically, the suits allege that Weichert Realtors and Prudential Real Estate Affiliates impose administrative fees of $200 to $275 on real estate transactions, notwithstanding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development declaring last year such fees illegal. One suit filed in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey alleges violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The two suits filed in Burlington County Superior Court claim violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act. More details to follow.