Your Right To File Complaints

Many people find that the home buying and/or selling process a draining one. The use of outside parties such as real estate brokers and lawyers often leaves the client passive and disengaged with the real estate process. In previous years, this complicated arrangement left room for exploitation. Fees were often hidden in complex technical language that the client often did not understand. However, in recent years, a number of laws have been enacted and the client's right to file complaints has become clearer and much easier. Although, most individuals involved in real estate do not partake in such activities, it is still important for anybody hoping to buy or sell their home to understand their right to file complaints.

Dealing With The Process

Until recently, many individuals who were either selling or buying a home were disgruntled with the complex requirements involved in property transactions. Due to the large amount of third parties involved in this business arrangement, homebuyers and home sellers were open to exploitation. However, through the enactment of such laws as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Fair Housing Act, and The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), homebuyers and home sellers are now legally protected from such exploitation.

If you feel that you have been cheated or exploited, there are a variety of ways that you can use your right to file complaints. The most effective way to file a complaint is through a private lawsuit. This method allows you to identify your complaint to the source directly, whether it is a lender, a settlement agent, a real estate broker, or somebody else involved in this business arrangement. If this approach fails but you believe that you have been a victim of a violation of a real estate law such as RESPA or ECOA, you have another alternative. This is to sue the source of your complaint in a federal or state court. Before you take this option, however, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney.

File Complaints

Another way that you are able to exercise your right to file complaints is by going to government agencies. Usually, governmental agencies are responsible for supervising settlement service providers and for the most part your state's Attorney General will have a consumer affairs division. By going to a government agency, you will be required to send a copy of your complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs.

An additional way that you can use your right to file complaints is by requesting a response from your loan source to any problem that you may have. Due to RESPA, your loan source is required to respond to you within 60 business days after making an investigation and performing the appropriate corrections.