Beware The Racist Realtors and Beware The Racist Realtors Part II

We did not write this blog, but we think it brings to light that racists exist and you do not need to wear a white cap and gown to identify these types of ignorant, small minded and scared people with no morals or imagination. Buyers Beware!

798589_1344387669171_oNational Fair Housing Alliance & HUD Investigations Confirm Discrimination! Where’s the outcry from the National Association of Realtors? On July 18, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit against the real estate brokerage doing business as Re/Max East-West alleging discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Re/ Max East-West is a major brokerage company serving DuPage and Cook Counties in Illinois. An undercover investigation of Re/Max East-West was conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance and the investigation unturned a repeated pattern of racial discrimination among real estate agents in as many as 12 cities. The NFHA found that Re/Max East-West agents time and again steered potential white and Latino homebuyers to areas where their race predominated. A Re/Max agent showed a Latino tester three homes in predominantly African-American and Latino areas, homes that were markedly less expensive than those she could afford, and told her that he did not have a lot of time for her.

Conversely, the same agent showed a white tester nine homes, the majority of which were in predominantly white areas such as Bartlett, Geneva and St. Charles. The agent offered to show the white tester many more homes in predominantly white neighborhoods as far as a 50 mile drive away.

One real estate agent, John DeJohn, also made illegal comments. He told a white tester, I don’t care if you are a bigot. If we go to an area and you don’t like it, just let me know. I can’t be a bigot but you can be one.

In addition, DeJohn informed a white tester that the two homes they viewed together in a predominantly African-American and Latino area were dumps and repos even though he had told the Latino tester that one of those homes might be good for you. And while the white tester received multiple follow-up calls subsequent to his appointment with the real estate agent, the Latino tester received none.

That agents of Re/Max East West were allowed to engage in such blatant discriminatory behavior is outrageous, said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. It is sad to think of how much the community’s residential segregation can be attributed directly to their sales practices.

Sad indeed. It makes you wonder how much of this is going on across the USA. The Justice Department’s action comes as a result of a complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In August, 2005, HUD began an investigation and later found evidence that agents of Re/Max East-West steered homebuyers based on race and national origin, made discriminatory statements, and treated individuals differently based on their national origin. After HUD issued a charge of discrimination, NFHA filed an election to have the case heard in federal court. As a result, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division by the Justice Department.

We are pleased with HUDs decision to issue a charge, said Ms. Smith. Our investigation of this company revealed egregious examples of housing discrimination and we hope that this will send a clear message to the housing industry that real estate agents and companies must be held accountable to the law.

After the NFHA filed a HUD complaint in 2005, HUD initiated an investigation based on the NFHAs findings and issued a charge of discrimination on June 9, 2008. The Justice Department then brought suit against Re/Max and John DeJohn in United States v. S & S GROUP, LTD. d/b/a REMAX EAST-WEST, through its successor in interest, S&W ELMHURST, LLC, also d/b/a REMAX EAST-WEST and JOHN DEJOHN (Case no. 08-CV-4099).

This investigation was part of NFHAs multi-year, multi-city enforcement project to test for housing discrimination in real estate companies identified by HUD as having previously discriminated during its Housing Discrimination Study.

NFHAs 12 city investigation found an alarming 87% rate of racial steering and an almost 20% rate of denial for African-Americans and Latinos.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.

DeJohn, who left Re/Max in 2004 and now works for a Hillside real estate firm, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. But he denied the allegations when they first surfaced in August 2005.

Never. Ever, he told the Daily Herald. I will sell to anyone, anywhere.

Chris Carlos, who represents both Re/Max East-West and DeJohn, added: Both of my clients deny the allegations and are looking forward to proving their innocence if need be through litigation, said Chris Carlos, who represents both Re/Max East-West and DeJohn.

Now I know some will say this is just a small sample of real estate agents but does that really matter? I won’t even proffer that the sample size is sufficient to show evidence of a prevailing problem. Lets leave it at 12 cities. Even just in these towns this information is bound to be news in communities across the country. Yet the NAR has not bothered to even respond. In fact, not many real estate agents even want to talk about this.

When are Realtors going to learn. Your image is damaged. The consumers don’t trust you. Your prestige and credibility are both at all time lows. Instead of spending millions of dollars on frivolous dead on arrival advertising campaigns, perhaps it should really seek to implement a campaign that seeks to instill consumer confidence.

The image of some is hurting the pocketbooks of many. Why aren’t the rank and file Realtors taking a stand and policing from within? Instead we get incidents like this that further cast a stain on the real estate profession.
Link to full artical
Beware The Racist Realtor Part II

Oh I finally understand the National Association Of Realtors advertising campaign. Silly me, I needed to read between the lines. Its a great time to buy a home if you’re white!” Another agent is charged with being a racist.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has charged Rodney Foreman, a real estate agent formerly employed by Coldwell Banker-Joe T. Lane Realty, Inc., in Jonesboro, Georgia, with racial steering in the sale of homes.

HUDs investigation found that Foreman steered whites posing as homebuyers to white neighborhoods. HUD has also charged Coldwell Banker-Joe T. Lane Realty, Inc., with violations of the Fair Housing Act based on the discriminatory actions of Foreman.

The agency says an undercover operation found that Rodney Foreman, a former agent with Coldwell Banker-Joe T. Lane Realty, refused to take white clients into predominantly black neighborhoods and made derogatory statements about African-Americans. He also allegedly told white clients that he kept different listings for whites and African-Americans, HUD said.

Foreman, who now works for Coldwell Banker-Bullard Realty faces fines if found guilty in administrative court. He could also face punitive damages if he decides to fight the charges in federal court.

Foremans discriminatory actions were exposed during undercover testing by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), a fair housing organization with 20 years of experience in fair housing testing. NFHA sent white and African-American testers to Coldwell Banker-Joe T. Lane Realty, Inc., posing as potential homebuyers looking to relocate to the Atlanta area.

Foreman allegedly steered white homebuyers to white neighborhoods and made derogatory statements about black residents. Foreman allegedly told one of the white testers that he had two sets of listings-one for white homebuyers and another for African-Americans.

While investigating the NFHA claims, HUD filed its own complaint to ensure HUDs ability to obtain relief for victims who have not been identified.

Since the passage of the Fair Housing Act 40 years ago, one of the highest priorities of the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been to combat housing discrimination, said Kim Kendrick, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. In the 21st century, steering should be something of the past. This case shows why HUDs enforcement actions are crucial to eliminate housing discrimination.

The HUD charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to each complainant for actual loss as a result of the discrimination, as well as damages for emotional distress, humiliation, and loss of civil rights.

The judge may also order injunctive and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, as well as the payment of attorney fees. In addition to the money damages payable to the complainant, the judge may impose a civil penalty in order to vindicate the public interest. In the event that one of the parties elects to proceed in federal district court, punitive damages may also be awarded to a prevailing complainant.

When will these idiot, racist realtors learn? Funny thing, we never seem to hear anything from the NAR on these issues. We also don’t hear many if any realtors speaking out against this either. Where is Coldwell Banker in regards to getting out in front of this? Where’s the diversity training for its agents?



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