DOJ, FTC Investigate Real Estate Commission Policies

Home sale commissions are under investigation by the Biden administration, which has asked the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to address any unfair practices it sees in the real estate industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Justice Department is investigating commissions after several civil lawsuits challenging industry rules passed muster in procedural challenges. Critics of traditional broker fees say rising home prices have highlighted an epidemic of excessive fees. Real estate agent fees are typically 5%-6% of the sale price. Homebuyers end up paying part of these fees through the purchase price but have little control over fees because they are set by the seller. Consumer advocates have specifically pointed to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) rules…

Former Oklahoma Mortgage Co. President Indicted

Ronald J. McCord, the former president of First Mortgage Company of Oklahoma City, was indicted by a federal grand jury for bank fraud and money laundering as part of a scheme to defraud banks and pay for lavish homes for himself and his family, prosecutors announced. Ronald J. McCord McCord, 69, of Oklahoma City, allegedly defrauded two Oklahoma banks, Fannie Mae and others over a three-year period, said Timothy J. Downing, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. According to the 24-count indictment, McCord defrauded Spirit Bank and Citizens State Bank – as well as their mortgage subsidiaries American Southwest Mortgage Corporation and American Southwest Mortgage Funding Corporation – by selling $14.1 million in mortgage loans and failing to…