"We do not know how much money was missing;" Lakelands Association president on Re/Max North closure
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As the news of Re/Max North Country Realty Inc.'s suspension order circles Muskoka and area, the Lakelands Association of Realtors Board of Directors President Catharine Inniss has some thoughts on the unfortunate circumstance agents and clients find themselves in this first week of 2020. Inniss prologue's by saying that it is extremely unusual for an occurrence like this to happen.
She finds it hard to understand "how he could have done this, considering the rules which are in place." Insurance, she said, will likely cover any client money missing but suggests that there might not be enough to cover agent commissions.
"There is insurance to cover their commission, but I believe it is a million dollar coverage and I think there were 67 agents. They need legal advice," Inniss said.
Inniss admits that she doesn't know if this "has ever happened in Muskoka before. The Lakelands Real Estate Association is working closely with RECO to support the realtors involved. Any information that the public would like to have is on the RECO website."
"Brokerages are highly regulated by RECO which is the real estate consumer protection agency. Brokerages are regularly audited and the trust account is critical. Any discrepancy in that account and RECO shuts the operation down and investigates. That is what happened here. We do not know how much money was missing - we only know that there was a discrepancy and I think we can safely assume it was not an overage. Brokers are acutely aware of the importance of keeping the trust account safe and well removed from operating accounts. Most brokers cannot access the account on their own. There are checks and balances set up in the brokerage to avoid any impropriety or appearance of impropriety."