Janesville75.2°

Sheridan seeks homebuyer protections

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Gazette Staff
August 4, 2008

State Rep. Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville, announced his intent to introduce legislation to restore consumer protections in the real estate industry.


A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling made Wisconsin the only state in the nation where a seller of a home can knowingly defraud the buyer and not be taken to court for his or her actions.


“The decision of the Supreme Court makes no sense whatsoever,” Sheridan said. “In a time of a severe housing crisis, this adds even more doubt into the marketplace. Addressing this significant problem and restoring important consumer protections will be a top priority in the next legislative session.”


In a 4-3 split decision that has been criticized by consumer groups and the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the state Supreme Court recently ruled that home sellers now can knowingly defraud a buyer and never face punitive damages.


“If there is no punishment for knowingly deceiving a homebuyer, then it only seems to reason that such abuses will increase. The Legislature needs to step in and protect the consumer—it’s just a matter of common sense,” Sheridan said.



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