Has my real estate agent done something illegal, or just unethical?

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I am buying a house in GA, and I have been approved by a particular mortgage lender. I’ve been dealing with this lender for some time now, and their rates are competitive, with fantastic customer service. When we put a contract on this new home in GA, our real estate agent was aware that we had been dealing with this mortgage company, but she seemed very eager to get us to apply for a loan with a local bank. We politely declined, because we are confident in the mortgage company that we have chosen, but the next day, a representative from the local mortgage company contacted us anyway wanting to do business with us. Again, we politely declined, and we thought that was the end of it.

Upon signing the contract on the house, our agent asked for a copy of our mortgage lender’s “Good Faith Estimate” for closing costs, payments, etc… and we provided it to her. The next thing I know, this woman from the local bank is calling me up saying that she’s looking at this Good Faith Estimate from our lender, and that she sees several things that are not correct. She proceeds to tell me that we should consider going with her bank, blah blah blah. (After speaking with the loan officer at my chosen mortgage company, I have discovered this local lender’s statements were incorrect, by the way.) have never initiated contact with this local bank, and it seems as though they are practically stalking us to get our business.

My question is this: Our real estate agent admitted that she gave this local bank a copy of our “Good Faith Estimate” from our mortgage company. She did so without our knowledge or consent, and she has therefore shared our financial information with a third party without our approval. Is that illegal, or just unethical?
I know it is, at a minimum, unethical. It’s seriously brought this agent’s character and integrity into question in my mind, and now I’m wondering what else she’s done behind my back. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but I just don’t like people sharing information about how much cash we have (i.e. cash on hand for the down payment) with third parties who have nothing to do with the transaction. She obviously gets some sort of “perks” from this lender if she refers someone for a loan, and I think that’s pretty shady, too.
I never signed a contract with the Real Estate agent. The only contract I have signed was the contract to purchase the house. I’ve read through it, and nowhere does it say that she has any right to disseminate our financial information to third parties, or to try to secure financing for us.

  1. Reply
    Eric H
    February 16, 2011 at 1:35 am

    It’s definitely unethical but not illegal.

    You gave the real estate information without restrictions. They were free to do what they wanted with it.

    The agent must be starving to be so persistently bird-dogging for the bank.

    You can complain to the local Real Estate Board if you wish.

    Don’t expect much to come of it.

  2. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Definitely both. Your info is private and the mortgage company shouldn’t be able to access any of your info without an informed consent form, signed by you. Unethical. She probably get a commission from them if you use their services. I would contact the Board of Realtors for more info in your state, if I were you. I would also be really pissed off at her since she clearly knew whom you were going to finance with. Contact her supervisor and tell them you don’t want her at the closing.

  3. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Both. In addition if you had gone with her bank it would also have been illegal for her to receive the kickback she so obviously was working for. Report her to your state’s licensing board. She needs to be sanctioned and possibly lose her license. You could sue her and her company if you could prove damages.

  4. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I’m going with unethical. The good faith estimate really doesn’t contain protected financial information about you.

  5. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 2:12 am

    It depends on the laws of your state.

    In my state it would be privileged information and the Real Estate Broker could be held liable for damages, if any, because of the actions of an agent under the Brokers supervision.

    Only the sales price and terms of the loan are public information and recorded in the public records to show change of ownership. Everything else such as conditions of sale are privileged.

    I suggest that you complain to the Broker about his agent giving out your private financial information. If nothing else, you will put an end to the agents practice.

  6. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Did you read all the paperwork you signed with in your contract with the Real Estate Agent? I doubt anything was illegal, and it i wouldn’t say it was technically unethical, but you may have agreed to a shared disclosure without fully understanding what you were signing into when you signed you contract with the Agent.

  7. Reply
    February 16, 2011 at 2:42 am

    one, both or none. If you hired her as a buyer’s agent, then it is at least irregular but may not be illegal or unethical. If she was working with you but you had not agreed to pay her, then she was a seller’s agent and actually owed duties only to the seller and none to you.

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