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Daily Real Estate News  |  August 11, 2008  |   Californians to Get Refunds From Kickback Suit
Hundreds of thousands of Californians are expected to share in a $35 million settlement of a lawsuit that accuses some of the nation’s largest real estate brokers of taking kickbacks.

A federal judge in Los Angeles still must sign the agreement.

The lawsuit accuses brokers from an array of major companies, including Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and RE/MAX, of accepting kickbacks for referring business to Property I.D. Corp. Property I.D., is a Los Angeles-based company that provides fire, floods, earthquake, and landslide hazard reports.

The suit alleges that brokers received $25 for every client steered to straw companies set up to disguise the kickbacks.

Under the settlement terms announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the firms denied wrongdoing but agreed to give customers who bought the reports from 1996 to 2006 a full refund – typically about $100.

Source: The Associated Press (8/09/08)

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