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US: FTC accuses Louisiana Real Estate Board of violating federal antitrust law

 |  May 31, 2017

The rules established by the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board, the regulatory body that oversees property appraisals in the state, violate federal antitrust laws and stifle competition for appraisal services due to strict requirements to adhere to a “customary and reasonable” appraisal fee schedule, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

On Wednesday, the FTC filed a complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board, accusing the group of “unreasonably restraining price competition for appraisal services in Louisiana” by stipulating that appraisal management companies must follow the state’s established polices for the fees that AMC’s (Asset Management Company) pay to appraisers.

According to the FTC, Louisiana’s rules go well beyond the rules established in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which require appraisal management companies to pay “a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisal services performed in the market area of the property being appraised.”

The FTC alleges that the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board required appraisal fees to be equal to or greater than the median fees identified in survey reports commissioned and published by the board.

According to the FTC, the Louisiana board exceeded its authority by investigating and sanctioning companies that paid fees below those specified levels.

Full Content: Sat Press News

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