Stay out of hot water with the DOC

SPAAR - 02/24/2024

SPAAR hosted Fabian Hoffner, the founder of The Hoffner Firm, Ltd., on October 12, 2023, as part of its Grow Your Toolbox event. A former Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota for 10 years, Mr. Hoffner’s tenure provided him a unique vantage point representing state licensing boards and commissions, and later championing the rights of private individuals.

Mr. Hoffner presented on issues that get people into hot water and, more importantly, how to stay out of it. He focused on honesty, and its importance in working with the Department of Commerce, even when mistakes are made.

There are many ways Realtors® can get in trouble, and small things can quickly become big issues. Among them are the following:

  • Lying
  • Misrepresentation
  • Fraud
  • Fiduciary Duty issues
  • Trust Fund issues
  • Unlicensed activities
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Violations of fair housing standards
  • Non-completion of Continuing Education
  • Misuse of the MLS: providing false information
  • Failure to cooperate with the investigator(s)

When issues arise, the Department of Commerce will review every case and often ask for all pieces of information and documentation involved. When working with the DOC, be thorough and be honest. In fact, Mr. Hoffner stressed time and again that honesty issues are often one of the top disciplinary issues.

Be truthful and, ideally, stay out of hot water.

Here are a few comments from some of the Grow Your Toolbox broker attendees:

If Commerce calls, be honest and cooperate with them. Don’t piss them off. If needed, get representation.” – Paige Kahle

Honesty is one of the hottest topics for the Department of Commerce.” – Justin Fox

Fabian Hoffner had a breadth of knowledge and really understood how the Department of Commerce works. By attending events like this, we learn more about fair housing violations and how to market in a fair and equitable way.” – Patrick Ruble

Click to read Commerce Actions and Regulatory Documents Search (CARDS) info here.

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