Complaint Resolution Program
The CalBRE has a Complaint Resolution Program which attempts to resolve simple disputes or minor issues between consumers and licensees or subdividers as a potential alternative to opening formal investigations into such matters. The program includes facilitators from the Bureau's Enforcement, Subdivisions, and Mortgage Loan Activities sections.
The mission of the Complaint Resolution Program is to respond quickly and informally to concerns of consumers and members of the real estate industry by serving as a facilitator to resolve conflicts and/or to mitigate or prevent Real Estate Law violations. Since its inception the program has proven effective in resolving disputes, and in reducing staff workloads by addressing issues up front as opposed to at the conclusion of a lengthy investigative process.
Many of the issues that Bureau facilitators work to resolve involve a breakdown in communication between licensees and their principals. It is important to note that, in many of these instances, facilitators endeavor to reestablish and facilitate communication, thus solving the issue. The types of cases that have been handled through the Complaint Resolution Program have included small monetary disputes where there did not appear to be a violation of the Real Estate Law (Note: While the Bureau cannot interfere with an ongoing transaction, we can place a call to a licensee to discuss possible consequences of proceeding.). Previously addressed issues have included the following:
- Consumers needing copies of their documents and who had been unable to obtain a response from their agent.
- Consumers needing assistance in contacting their agent or broker on a current transaction.
- Consumers needing information that they had not been able to obtain from their agent for escrow, lenders, or inspectors.
- Consumers questioning commission demands by agents (inside and outside of escrow).
- Consumers trying to cancel transactions or loans.
- Consumers wanting to know where their earnest money was being held
- Consumers who were asked to sign documents or do something they did not understand or feel was appropriate.
- Consumers having difficulty with a subdivider.
- Consumers having homeowner association issues while CalBRE still had jurisdiction over a subdivider.
- Consumers having difficulties with timeshare sellers or operators.
- Tenants facing eviction following foreclosure, without being provided the appropriate 90-day notice period.
- Short sale transaction where an agent was demanding terms or conditions that were questionable or potentially unlawful.
- Licensees questioning whether offers have been presented to sellers, or to lenders in REO transactions.
- Consumers requesting return of illegally-collected advance fee payments.
Complaint Resolution Program Contact:
- (213) 576-6885
Mortgage Loan Activities Unit
- (916) 263-8941
- Subdivisions Northern Region: (916) 263-8879
- Subdivisions Southern Region: (213) 576-6927
While the Bureau may not have all the remedies and the ability to compel cooperation, it has elicited a great amount of cooperation from licensees when facilitating simple disputes. If the Complaint Resolution Program can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.