Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Update on Idaho Class Actions

As you may know, before this blog kicked off, four separate class action lawsuits were filed in federal court in Idaho (originally the four were joined together in a single action filed in 2004) against four separate real estate brokerages – Aspen Realty, Inc., Holland Realty, Inc., Sel-Equity, Co., and Park Pointe Realty, Inc., alleging tying arrangements prohibited by the Sherman Act. The brokerages were accused of charging commissions based upon the price of undeveloped land plus the anticipated cost of a home to be built thereon, instead of a commission simply based upon the cost of the undeveloped land. While the plaintiffs apparently do not allege any collusion amongst the various defendants in these four suits, they allege that the sale of undeveloped land was contingent upon this arrangement. The current complaint pending against Aspen can be viewed here.

Last summer Judge Winmill granted class certification in each case, meaning that certain home buyers may be entitled to damages incurred as a result of the allegedly illegal commissions charged. Of course the plaintiffs will first have to prove their claims before the Court.

The Court originally certified the classes last June, but modified them same several weeks ago after receiving various motions from the defendants. The class presently consists of “[a]ll persons who: (1) bought an undeveloped lot in a subdivision in either Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem or Owyhee county, Idaho between August 18, 2001 and February 28, 2006 in which Defendant has or had the exclusive right to market or sell the subdivision lots on behalf of the developer; (2) were required to build a house on the lot in order to buy the lot; and (3) were required to pay Defendant a commission based on the cost of the lot plus the actual or estimated cost of the house in order to buy the lot.”


  1. Case dismissed. Zero foreclosure.

  2. case dismissed on zero foreclosure defense.