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RECALL Petition 2001

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

Submitted to the Federal Reserve Board, May 1, 2001


Petition to form Real Estate Consumer Alliance and

Draft a Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights


The policy change proposed by the Federal Reserve Board and US Treasury which would allow banks and financial holding companies to offer residential brokerage services brings the real estate industry to a critical turning point after a decade which has witnessed both unprecedented change and erosion of real estate consumer rights. The residential real estate industry is ripe for reform as evidenced by the following partial list of problems:


• Increasing threats to consumer privacy,


• Disregard for mandatory disclosures,


• Dismantling of the common law of agency and prohibiting the full range of recourse for wrongful actions,


• Conflicts of interest so common that they are widely accepted, and


• Tying-in relationships with related service providers preventing consumer choice and the ability to make informed decisions.


Regardless of the outcome of the current policy debate, the next generation of information technologies, new business models, and new players will raise a wide variety of new consumer issues. Without an organized consumer effort, the future of this trillion-dollar industry will be defined by giant lobbying groups and regulatory boards who are controlled by industry forces.


As a counterbalance, the petition signers below invite a coalition of national consumer advocates and consumer groups to form a "Real Estate Consumer Alliance." Their first order of business would be to co-author a long-overdue Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights that would address ongoing problems; enhance consumer protections, choices and benefits; and guide the industry’s evolution.


A preliminary list of groups to be invited to join the Real Estate Consumer Alliance, or RECALL, includes but is not limited to:


Consumer Federation of America


Consumers Union (publishers of Consumer Reports)


National Consumer Law Center


National Consumers League


American Council on Consumer Interests


Privacy Rights Clearinghouse


Electronic Privacy Information Center


Consumer Project on Technology






After an initial seed grant, RECALL could be self-funded through online donations from the anticipated $30 billion annually in consumer savings. Advocates for and against the Federal Reserve’s proposed policy change have argued their positions forcefully based on perceived consumer benefit. We welcome that approach and challenge both bankers and brokers to contribute seed money, which would be combined with other foundation grants, to fund RECALL as an independent, consumer watch dog agency to establish and monitor the implementation of the Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights. Each of the participating consumer groups would receive funding for an existing or new staff position to become involved in this collaborative effort. Funds would also be used to develop a consumer web site, host one or more national consumer conferences, and sustain RECALL until it becomes self-funding over the next 24 months.


As we approach the end of the Federal Reserve’s comment period and the beginning of Congressional hearings, the real estate industry--the sleeping giant of the consumer movement--is at critical decision point. We, the undersigned, urge the consumer advocacy community to ask Congress, the Federal Reserve Board, and the US Treasury to postpone any decision on the proposed policy change until a comprehensive, independent analysis of the residential real estate industry is undertaken from the consumer's perspective and a long overdue Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights is established to protect consumers in the future.


Real Estate Consumer Alliance (RECALL)


Bill Wendel

The Real Estate Cafe

Lincoln, MA



Erle Rawlins III

Real Estate Consumer Consultants

Co-Founder, Texas Real Estate Buyer Agents Association

Consumer & Prof. Instructor, Southern Methodist University



Tom Hathaway, Founder

The Buyers Agent, Inc. (72 franchise offices nationwide)

Memphis, TN




Barry M. Miller, Broker

Home Buyer's Champion Realty, Denver, CO

NAR's REBAC Founder

Author, Smart Home Buying For Smart Home Buyers

http://www.eba-eba.com; barrymill@aol.com


Becky Swann, President

International Real Estate Digest (IRED.com)

Grapevine, TX

http://www.ired.com, Forbes "Best of Web" Spring 2001



Pat Rioux, Staff writer

International Real Estate Digest (IRED.com)

http://www.ired.com, Forbes "Best of Web" Spring 2001

Boston, MA



William F. Supple, Ph.D.

Picket Fence Previews, Inc.

Founder, USFSBO (For Sale By Owner)

Burlington, VT

http:www.picketfencepreview.com; Billfsbo@sover.net


Kathleen Chiras

Executive Director, National Association Exclusive Buyer Agents 1995-2000

President, SkyFor, Inc

Executive Director, SmartHomeSearch.org



Kel LaBranche, Buyer Broker / Owner

Buy USA Real Estate, Vero Beach, FL

President, National Association Of Exclusive Buyer Agents




Thomas A. Early, Broker

The Buyer's Real Estate Brokerage

Founding member & Past President, NAEBA

NAR Mover and Shaker of the year 1997

http://www.BuyersBrokerage.com Tomearly@BuyersBrokerage.com


Merrill Ottwein

Past President, National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents

Home Buyers Relocation Services

O'Fallon and Edwardsville Illinois

www.homerelo.com; buyerside@aol.com


Abraham Tieh, President

Past President, National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (1996)

Buyer Agents Realty

3535 Westheimer, Suite 228

Houston, TX


Ray Wilson, Writer / Educator

Author, "Bought Not Sold"

Contributing writer, International Real Estate Digest

Greenfield, MA



Barbara P. Cooper

Consumer Advocate & Educator for buyers, sellers & owners

Former real estate journalist

Pelham, MA

http://barbaracooper.com, bpchome@valinet.com


Jay Reifert, Central Region Director

National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA)

Madison, Wisconsin 53711




Renee Paul Knight, ABR, CRS, GRI

Chairperson, Real Estate Agency Law Defenders


Clinton Township, MI



Deborah C. Mallon

Past President, New Hampshire Assoc. of Exclusive Buyer Agents

Fidelis-Buyer's View, A.F.B. Realty



John Herman, President

CT Assoc. of Buyers Agents




Andrew Show, Exclusive Buyer Broker

Buyer's Resource Realty Services

Columbus, Ohio




James P. Savage, Exclusive Buyer's Agent

West Virginia Buyer's Broker, LLC

Former Wall Street economist & small business consultant

Elkins (Randolph County), WV

http://www.wvbuyersbroker.com ; jpsavage@meer.net


Steele V. Propp, Exclusive HomeBuyer Consultant

The Buyer's Agent Southwest

Minneapolis, MN




Lois M. Hekker, "Exclusive" Buyer's Broker

Buyer's Agents International Realty

Sarasota, Florida 34342




Corey Scholtka, Internet Consultant

Former Real Estate Salesperson

3rd Generation Real Estate Agent

Milwaukee, WI



Michael Stasica



Don Edwards, Broker/Owner

Don Edwards Associates / Real Estate Buyer Agents





Pam Bell, Exclusive Buyer's Broker

The Buyer's Agent, Real Estate Advisors

Serving Six Counties in Northern New Jersey




Fred Roven

Martha's Vineyard Buyer Agents




Fran Taillon, retired

Fidelis, Buyer's Voice Real Estate, Dallas/Ft. Worth (1990-2000)

Past president, Texas Real Estate Buyer Agents Association (TREBAA)

Charter member NAEBA



Con McGill

Omaha, NE



Roy Flanders, Principal & Broker

Pro Buyer Associates

Nantucket, MA




Carol Anne Cloy, Owner/Broker

Agency for Buyers Only Realty


Serving the Greater Tampa Bay Area

Anne@cannec. Com


Ron Porter, Exclusive Buyer Agent

Buyer Vision Realty, Silicon Valley Office

Buyer Broker Directory of American Real Estate




Don Price

Acclaimed Realty

Exclusive Buyer's Brokerage for the High Country

Boone, NC 28607



Ray Anderson, Broker/Owner, e-EBA

Buyer's Advantage Real Estate


Auburn, CA



Marie McDonnell

The Mortgage Counselor

Mortgage Finance Analyst

Cape Cod, MA



Sandy Jurich, broker

Buyer's Choice Realty


Kalamazoo, MI


John Toner, President

Buyer'$ Agent-USA Inc

Columbia, MD & Vienna, VA




Chris Eby

Summit County, CO













To add your name to the Real Estate Consumer Alliance petition, copy the text, type your name & e-mail address at the end of the list, and forward copies of the petition to other interested parties as well as bwendel77@aol.com, who will submit the final list to the Federal Reserve and Congress before their respective deadlines on May 1st and May 2nd. For more information, please contact Bill Wendel, founder of The Real Estate Cafe at (781) 259-0856; whose position on the current policy debate is online at: http://www.realtytimes.com/rtnews/rtapages/20010430_view.htm


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