We received a cease-and-desist letter from the California Association of Realtors for having a blank copy of the purchase contract on the blog.
I speculated that they must have a lot of time on their hands, and asked if could they use some of it to pursue the rampant and unabated short-sale fraud by realtors.
Here is the response from a staff attorney:
Believe me, we have not enough time to be reviewing intellectual property violations, but your website came up at the top of a recent search that we did.
As to the latter point, short sale fraud and mortgage fraud have been a HUGE concern of C.A.R. over the last four to six years. The Legal Department has given a number of webinars, made in-person presentations, and created new Legal Q&As during the last several years addressing these issues, and also advises regarding the seriousness of these issues and the penalties associated with these types of fraud every day on the Legal Hotline. To illustrate, we have a link on our home page which takes users to the following portion of our website:
Unfortunately, C.A.R. is not an enforcement agency with the power to prosecute these matters, but we can refer any violations that you see to the FTC, the California DRE, and FBI who are taking these issues very seriously (even though they may be short on manpower). If you have any suggestions on what we can be doing further on this very important matter, please do not hesitate to let us know.
There you go! We have seen no efforts made by the local association of Realtors of the MLS system to curtail fraudulent activities by realtors, but the state association has a link!
I guess the realtors committing fraud didn’t get the memo about attending the webinar, or bothered to call the Hotline?
P.S. The last I heard, if you submit a complaint about a realtor to the California Department of Real Estate, they will get around to it in about 18 months.