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Realtor complaints will rise, regulator predicts

October 19, 2007

The rising tide of mortgage foreclosures will result in an increase in complaints about real estate agents, the chairman of the Indiana Real Estate Commission told The Times of Munster in an interview.

Tim Reed, a Valparaiso agent who has been a commission member since 1992 and the chairman since 1998, said many homeowners don't even know yet that they're hurtling toward foreclosure.

"We haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg on the foreclosure issues," Reed said. "That person who is closing on their home, they are not upset, because they have a new home. But they'll become upset after they go into foreclosure and then they'll start filing the complaints."

The commission enforces laws, rules and regulations of Indiana law for real estate licenses. It has the power to sanction agents or force them out of business.

The number of appraisers and real estate agents charged before the commission has surged in the past three years due to extra funding that allowed the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and the Attorney General's Office to hire additional investigators, Reed said.

There were 20 such cases in 2004 compared to 186 in 2006.
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