Court Rules Buyers and Sellers of Residential Real Estate Can Sue FMLS and Brokerage Firms Under RESPA to Recover Undisclosed Fees and Kickbacks

February 28, 2012

In the potential class action of Heather Q. Bolinger, et al v. First Multiple Listing Service, Inc., et al. (2:10-cv-00211-RWS), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled on January 18, 2012 that buyers and sellers of residential real estate can sue FMLS (the dominant MLS in Georgia) and member brokerage firms under RESPA to recover undisclosed fees and kickbacks. The court decided that Plaintiffs can recover damages if, as they allege, brokers and agents refer consumers to FMLS and pay FMLS unearned hidden settlement fees from real estate commissions or if FMLS pays kickbacks to productive brokers. Plaintiffs will be seeking relief on behalf of all purchasers and sellers of residential real estate in Georgia during at least the 4 years preceding the filing date of the lawsuit. Taylor English Duma, LLP represents the Plaintiffs along with Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP and The Sterbcow Law Group, LLC. For more information about the case, go to www.fmlsclassaction.com

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