This subpeona from the Colorado Division of Real Estate takes aim at PPAR, the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.
It asks for open access to this... the association's MLS... multiple listing service.
On this website members can literally find thousands of homes and properties for sale in the Pikes Peak region.
It has all kinds of information from descriptions of homes... to the amount a buyer paid for a comparable property.
Erin Toll, the director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate says, "Our number one priority is stopping mortgage fraud and foreclosures. We can't do that without knowing the value of property. The value of property is clearly displayed by data in the MLS."
Toll's job is to oversee realtors, mortgage brokers, and appraisers.
She says her office already has access to county assessors' information, but it's often outdated.
She calls the MLS a vital tool ... helping her and her staff prosecute real estate crooks.
Toll says almost all other realtor associations in the state have given her permission to use theirs.
She adds, "In Colorado Springs they have steadfastly refused to deal with us and it's very unfortunate because we are starting to see a rise in the number of real estate scams in Colorado Springs."
Wynne Palermo is the board chair of PPAR. She says, "We have confidential information in our multiple listings. Our seller's gone... there's confidential information in there. It isn't that she couldn't have it, but she wants access for all of her 50 people in her office."
Palermo says the association wants to help nab the bad guys, but she isn't comfortable giving the Colorado Division of Real Estate blanket access.
Palermo prefers only giving specific MLS information when ordered to do so... and only on a case by case basis.
Palermo adds, "We would be happy to give it to her if she gave us a legitimate subpeona."
Tolls responds... saying, "I don't understand why they will not help the consumers... why this realtor group will not say hey, let's do the right thing."
Toll says filing individuals subpeonas every time she needs information is an inefficient way to operate and it's improper... since it would let the association know exactly who her office is investigating.
The PPAR says its attorney is prepared to fight.
Bottom line... the matter could end up in court and I'm told it could cost us, the taxpayers, tens of thousands of dollars.
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