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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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Plaintiffs obtained settlement services from NRT Columbus, LLC in connection with their purchase of real estate. NRT Columbus charged Plaintiffs an administrative fee of $199 and a brokerage commission of $19,710. Plaintiffs claimed that the administrative fee violates RESPA because it is a fee for which no services are rendered and/or it is a duplicative fee for services covered by the broker's commission. After hearing testimony that the administrative fee was not for any specific services, but rather just part of the total commission and was a way to increase the dollars received and retained by the company when representing buyers, the Court found that the administrative fee violated RESPA, section 8(b). The Court found that if it were to accept Defendant's argument that a charged fee can be factored into a total commission without being connected to a specific service would run counter to RESPA's consumer protection purpose. Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment was granted.
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| © 2009 Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray