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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ind. Law - More on: Home sellers lose with this new law

Here are several items updating this ILB entry from March 19th on HEA 1339, the new law that seems to eliminate any right of Hoosier citizens to use discount real estate brokers.

First, I've taken a look at the introduced bill to see whether the anti-consumer language may have been slipped in at the last minute. Not so -- it was there from the beginning.

Second, the Action List shows that the bill passed the House 56-38 and the Senate 49-0. So there was some opposition in the House -- I haven't watch the tapes from Jan 23rd and 26th to see if they provide a clue to why the bill got 38 "no" votes in the House.

Third, I've wondered why Governor Daniels signed this bill so quickly. My take on the Governor had been that he was for business competition, not against it.

Fourth, Gary Welsh of the blog Advance Indiana has this afternoon posted a lengthy entry on this new law and how it affects Indianapolis discount brokers -- I recommend it to you.

Fifth, take a look at these two ILB entries from Sept. 8th and Sept. 9th, 2005, including this quote from the Washington Post:

In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, where the Realtors have their headquarters, the government alleged that the association -- particularly its traditional broker members -- has sought to maintain a "policy that restrains competition from brokers who use the Internet to more efficiently and cost effectively serve home sellers and buyers."

Finally (for now), if you have read this far, spend some time on the Federal Trade Commission website. See particularly this information about a Public Workshop held Oct 25, 2005, by the FTC and the Dept. of Justice. The public workshop was entitled “Competition Policy and the Real Estate Industry.”

The workshop will focus on issues related to the competitiveness of the residential real estate industry, and will cover topics such as multiple listing services, online “virtual office Web sites,” discount and limited-service brokers, and minimum-service requirements. The event is open to the public and there is no fee for attendance. [my emphasis]
MORE COMING after I review some of these documents -- many of them deal with the topic of the new Indiana law. For instance, this release from the FTC and Justice references a letter sent to a Michigan Senate Committee last fall. The release begins:
The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint letter today urging the Michigan Senate Committee on Economic Development, Small Business, and Regulatory Reform to reject House Bill 4849 as currently drafted, as the legislation would reduce consumer choice and cause Michigan consumers to pay more for real estate brokerage services. According to the letter, the bill would change current law to restrict the ability of licensed real estate brokers to offer consumers the option to pick the specific brokerage services they want.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 22, 2006 05:15 PM
Posted to Indiana Law