RESPA MARKETING AGREEMENT ABRUPTLY TERMINATED AND LAWSUIT ENSUES

The Denver Post reports that First American Residential Group Inc. terminated a $600,000.00 a year marketing agreement contract with Re/Max International Inc. after Colorado regulators questioned the legitimacy of their arrangement. Erin Toll, the director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate has asked the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) RESPA Division to help them in their investigation of these types of marketing agreement relationships to determine whether they are legal or illegal.

First American paid Re/Max $2.4 million dollars over the course of 4 years under this “secretive” marketing agreement. Re/Max sued First American because First American refused to pay $693,000.00 under the terms of the marketing agreement contract.

Be extremely careful in the use of Marketing Agreements as HUD has quietly taken the position that all Marketing Agreements may be illegal.

Always have someone who is well versed in RESPA law review your marketing agreements before they put into operation or if you are engaged in a marketing agreement I would highly advise that you seek legal counsel on the structure of your agreement to make sure you are in compliance with federal law.