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Judge approves settlement in class-action lawsuit against New Jersey Realtors


Recently, Superior Court Judge Karen Suter approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by citizens in a New Jersey suburb against a local real estate company, the Burlington County Times reports.

Residents in Burlington County claim that Weichert Realtors had charged them administration fees, which ranged between $160 and $250, that they felt were "junk fees." When looking further into these charges, the citizens concluded that the Realtors were not performing an additional, identifiable action that earned the fees past their efforts to earn a commission.

In their lawsuit, the county residents claim the fees violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the New Jersey Truth in Contract, Warranty and Notice Act.

As part of the settlement approved by Suter, Weichart must pay $525,000 to the suit's claimants, which could total as many as 8,000. The class is defined as "all persons or entities who sold residential real estate in New Jersey between Feb. 25, 2005, and April 1, 2011, who in connection with that sale were charged an administrative fee by Weichert, sometimes known as Weichert Realtors ... where the sale involved a federally related mortgage loan."

The case highlights the need for companies to follow appropriate actions, which includes observing government regulations, lest they be brought to court for professional liability. 

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