Consumer Protection

Property ID

Result: $40 million settlement
Year: 2009

Berger v. Property I.D. Corporation

In January 2009, the Court granted final approval to a $39.4 million settlement with several of the nation’s largest real estate brokerages, including companies doing business as Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and ERA Real Estate, and California franchisors for RE/MAX and Prudential California Realty, in an action under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act on behalf of California home sellers.

Plaintiffs charged that the brokers and Property I.D. Corporation set up straw companies as a way to disguise kickbacks for referring their California clients’ natural hazard disclosure report business to Property I.D. (the report is required to sell a home in California).

Under the settlement, hundreds of thousands of California home sellers were eligible to receive a full refund of the cost of their report, typically about $100.