J. Rockcliff Next on the Chopping Block to Face a Class Action Lawsuit from Using Fidelity’s TransactionPoint Program

Well it looks like J. Rockcliff is the next company to face charges of alleged fraud and receiving kickbacks from using the TransactionPoint program.  As we recently reported both Alain Pinel and Pacific Pinnacle are already facing Class Action Lawsuits for alleged kickbacks from Fidelity’s TransactionPoint program.

The same La Jolla based law firm that filed these class action lawsuits,  Bottini & Bottini, filed suit earlier this year against J. Rockcliff, Inc. and Jeffrey W. Sposito for violation of California Civil code 1710 (3), California Business and Prof. Code 17200, fraud and others. The complaint covers the timeframe between July 1, 2007 and July 11, 2011 where the Class employed the services of J. Rockcliff to buy or sell a residential home in California and the agents or owners received any payments from any person or company related to the TransactionPoint software.

You can view the actual complaint here:

As mentioned in our previous story, Fidelity agreed to settle charges brought against it by HUD stemming from the use of the TransactionPoint program by paying HUD $4.5 million to settle the alleged RESPA kickbacks violations.

In this new lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants accepted undisclosed payments or commissions while acting as real estate agents for Plaintiffs and other members of the Class. Plaintiffs also bring claims against Defendants for aiding and abetting each other’s breaches of fiduciary duties, fraudulent concealment, violation of California’s unfair competition law, constructive fraud, unjust enrichment, and for an accounting arising out of the above-mentioned conduct.

They further state that California law prohibits any real estate agent or broker from accepting any undisclosed form of payment while acting as a real estate agent for a client. Acceptance by a real estate agent or broker of any undisclosed payment while acting as a real estate agent for a client amounts to a breach of fiduciary duty and, if liability is established, subjects the real estate agent or broker to disgorgement of the full amount of commission paid by the client in the subject real estate transaction.

We know that Fidelity actively marketed TransactionPoint to brokers encouraging the use of its pay per click system in settlement services as a way for the broker to generate revenue. One Keller Williams broker publicly called this a “pay per click system.”

What do you think about this new class action lawsuit? We’d love to hear from you!

 

  • Tired of Greasy Palms

    Lol. What a shocker. Can’t wait til it’s out in the open that the Fidelity Title Group owns Rockcliff. how that passes muster with the DOI and the BRE to allow that conflict of interest to exist is beyond me. Not to mention that this puts Fidelity Title Group as a competitor to the brokers they allegedly serve!

  • PhillipHockington77

    These guys are a disgrace to the RE community. I’ve read your other articles regarding Fidelity’s TransactionPoint and it’s troubling to see just how many people were involved in these kickbacks. We’re here to serve our buyers and sellers, not ourselves!

  • RE_Insider

    One of our readers emailed us saying: Here we go again…Realtors are stating on the listings that they are per-opened with title company and would request you use them…I refuse to do that on my listings as title reps come to open houses and try to lure you into open a pre-escrow with preliminary report..This is such another scam to get around the ruling of buyer being able to use their own title company…

  • DeborahFriedman

    That’s quite a menagerie of class action claims in your article! No telling how a jury will decide the issues, but just the threat of all the legal costs scares me to death as an agent and raises some ominous questions. The laws against steering RE consumers apply to all settlement services, no? In my office, our broker requires that we use a hazard zone report (we’re in CA, obviously) supplied by the same vendor for all our transactions. The report shows up instantly at the time of listing without us ordering it, before we even have a buyer. (Kinda sounds like transaction point, now that I think about it.) Anyway, that report is definitely a settlement service. Am I breaking the law or risking “death by class action defense” simply by following her directions?