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O'Fallon homeowner accuses real estate company of fraud

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Sep 2, 2016

BELLEVILLE — An O'Fallon homeowner is suing a real estate agent and a real estate company for allegedly failing to tell her that a potential buyer had canceled the contract on her home.

Kathryn Mister filed a lawsuit July 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Kappert Bennett Real Estate Inc., doing business as Remax Signature Properties and Steven Bennett, alleging they violated the Real Estate License Act of 2000.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 17, 2014, she entered into a contract with the defendant to market and sell her home at 1061 Edgewood Drive in O'Fallon. Once the buyer had confirmed to buy the property, the suit says, she had it checked if it is within a flood zone area, which it was and that gave the buyer the option to cancel purchase agreement. 

The lawsuit says the defendants released a falsified report showing otherwise, and in the process prolonged the holding time for the property. The suit says when the defendant was informed by the buyer that she was finally canceling contract to buy, they kept the knowledge from the plaintiff. 

Not knowing that the contract to buy was canceled within the grace period, Mister sued the buyer but eventually lost, the suit states. She also incurred litigation expenses and loss of contract price. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants breached their duties to Mister by providing false information, fabricated a flood zone report, failed to relist the property and failed to assist plaintiff in her lawsuit.

Mister seeks a trial by jury, judgment against the defendants for more than $50,000, and all relief the court deems appropriate. She is represented by attorney Andrew K. Carruthers of Heplerbroom LLC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-366

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