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Illegal California Real Estate Fees Costing Consumers

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San Diego, CAAnyone who has ever gone through the process of buying or selling a house knows that the real estate fees and other costs associated with the process can add up quickly. California real estate transactions can involve a variety of costs and fees associated with the sale or purchase of a home, including title insurance, mortgage insurance, home inspections and other fees. In some cases, illegal real estate fees may have been charged - or real estate agents may have been illegally paid for referring clients to other organizations - meaning customers may have paid hundreds of dollars more than they should have.

One way consumers may be charged more than they should be is in their insurance. California insurance companies must complete a Filed Rate Doctrine, in which they set out what rates they will charge. If a customer is charged more than the rate filled out on the doctrine - or if they are charged for a service not included on the doctrine - the customer is being overcharged, and the insurance company could be in violation of insurance regulations. Consumers who were overcharged on their insurance may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the overcharges.

But insurance is not the only area where illegal fees or transactions can be found. Some real estate transaction fees are capped at a limit, while other charges are illegal. Because there are so many charges and fees involved in closing a real estate transaction, many people do not question the charges, but they may have been charged hundreds of dollars in illegal or excessively high fees. A HUD-1 form (Department of Housing and Urban Development Form 1) can show whether a customer was charged any illegal or unnecessary fees as it sets out what money was paid to whom in the real estate transaction process.

People selling or buying a home often find themselves with important decisions to make: who to hire for the home inspection, where to go for title insurance and so on. In these situations, it is only natural to ask the person most familiar with the process - the real estate agent - for advice or referrals. This is perfectly legal, and it is fine for the agent to make recommendations.

But if the agent received any sort of gift, compensation or inducement from service providers for the referral, that is a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Buying or selling a home is a stressful - and expensive - enough process without customers being charged illegal or excessive fees. Consumers who bought, sold or refinanced a home in California in the past four years may want to look at their transaction records to see if they may have paid illegal fees.


CA Real Estate Fees Legal Help

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Posted by

does this article refer to other states as well? ie, new york, north carolina, philadelphia, new jersey, etc. thank you.


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