As many real estate professionals are aware, short sales and distressed property transactions have had a major impact on the housing market in the past few years. Pearl Insurance and its carriers, XL Group's insurance companies, have seen unprecedented actions taken by financial institutions—in ways both good for the consumer, and unfortunately, bad.
It recently has come to our attention that major financial institutions have been transferring liability to both real estate brokerages and real estate consumers through their listing agreements. These listing agreements have been found to include language that forces the real estate agent to agree that they "shall not knowingly misrepresent or omit to state, any material facts in order to induce the Borrower(s), lender, or investor or the insurer to agree to the terms of a short sale that the Borrower, lender, investor, or insurer would not have agreed to had all material facts been known."
Pearl and XL want to be certain our customers take extreme caution when signing documents that include anything similar to the above language. Through this statement, agents become expressly obligated to disclose all material defects of a property to the lender, leading to a dangerous relationship that transfers disclosure to the agent and the consumer. We believe these documents may create a direct obligation to the lender that did not otherwise exist. Your best course of action is to consult your attorney, who can review the lender's documents and help you completely understand what you're signing.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve your insurance needs and hope this Risk Management Alert helps you be aware of the liability-transferring language that can be found in documents from some major financial institutions. If you have any questions about your policy or have updated your contact information, please call your Account Representative, Brooke Dunaway, at (866) 809-5171 or email [email protected]
*The recommendations in these articles may differ from state and local practices. Copyright 2012 Pearl Insurance/XL Group (Greenwich Insurance Company Indian Harbor Insurance Company). Coverages not available in all jurisdictions.