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Real Estate Bust Yields Lawsuit Boom?



Sharing virtual space today with reports of the Fed's emergency interest rate cut, a NYT article details one woman's quest to make her realtor pay the price of an ill-considered real estate purchase.

Marty Ummel claims that her realtor misrepresented the strength of the California market in which she purchased her retirement home in 2005, the height of the bubble. If her lawsuit succeeds, she may open the door to a new wave of bust-related litigation: the National Association of Realtors could find no suit in the last five years that concerned solely the issue of house valuation. Previous suits concerned alleged misrepresentations about the condition of the purchased property itself.

Ummel has racked up $75,000 in legal fees so far. There is no information on why she was unable or unwilling to find a contingincy fee lawyer. "I do not think I am obsessive-compulsive," says Ummel, who reportedly picketed ReMax on weekends for a year, "but I am 114 pounds of absolute perseverance."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.