Alert January 29, 2008

Eleventh Circuit Reverses Denial of Class Certification for Challenge of Fees under RESPA

The Eleventh Circuit reversed the denial of class certification in a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Section 8(b) suit in which a plaintiff claimed the realtor defendant had charged her and the members of the putative class a brokerage fee for which no service was performed. The district court refused to certify the class on the grounds that the individualized determinations of whether the fee charged was in line with the value of the services predominated the claim. The Eleventh Circuit reversed, finding that plaintiff’s § 8(b) claim required only an examination as to whether defendant actually performed any services for the fee, not whether the fee was reasonable. Because the Court would only need to make a “simple binary determination,” common questions of law and fact could predominate, making class treatment appropriate. Click here for a copy of Busby v. JRHBW Realty, Inc., No. 06-15308 (11th Cir. Jan. 17, 2008).