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Sep 4, 2014, 10:32 PM

Post #1 of 4 (8118 views)


Realtors Found Guilty in Chapala Price Fixing

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Surprised no discussion on any forums I have seen mentioning the massive fines levied against a multitude of Lake Chapala realtors ( Total over 28 million Pesos ! ) Is this just a slow time for news take up or are local forums avoiding it !

Taken from local Lake Chapala Reporter :

In a 240-page document that will undoubtedly make waves throughout Lake Chapala for months, Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (commission on economic competition) ruled that the members of the group GIL (Grupo Immobilario Del Lago), a local association of realtors, and the Chapala branch of AMPI (Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Immobilario) were guilty of price fixing between the years 2003 to 2008.

The penalties imposed by the ruling run into the millions of pesos.
Although the ruling was officially made on May 20, 2014, the full documentation was released to the public just within the last few days.
The list of members (both realty organizations as well as individual brokers) found guilty reads like the Who’s Who of Lakeside brokers. The following list shows the amount of sanctions imposed (based, in part, on sales figures and on ability to pay).

Name Penalty (Pesos)
Ajijic Real Estate $5,111,344
Absolut Fenix Real Estate/ReMax Fenix/Buen Clima Realty $4,444,645
Chapala Realty/Coldwell Banker $3,431,426
Eager y Asociados $3,092,192
Hernández Realty $2,481,610
El Tépalo/Vita Real Living Concepts $1,836,386
Adolfo Durán of Casa México $1,722,979
Beverly Hunt of Laguna Realty $1,541,977
Interlago Real Estate $1,420,921
GIL $1,362,760
AMPI - Chapala $1,362,760
Aarmonica Real Estate $670,592
Manuel Hernández of Hernández Realty $247,729
Mark Eager of Eager y Asociados $110,483
Marilyn Somers Doyle Burnham of Continental Realty $79,921
Dixie Nicholson of Absolut Fenix Real Estate/ReMax Fenix/Buen Clima Realty $36,612
Sandra Allin of Aarmonica Real Estate (currently of Collins Real Estate) $7,492
Richard Tingen of Chapala Realty/Coldwell Banker $6,479
Pedro Arellano of Arellano Corporation $4,899
Antje Groppe of Ambiance Fine Homes $92
Total $28,973,299

The ruling came as the result of a 7-year investigation initiated by Justus Hauser, owner of discount brokerage All-in-1 Mexico Real Estate in San Antonio Tlayacapan, on July 19, 2007. He complained that the GIL rules and the AMPI-Chapala rules forbade sales commission discounts, amounting to deliberate monopolistic, anti-competitive practices. The rules forbade lower than 7% (plus IVA) sales commission for a house, and less than 10% (plus IVA) commission for raw land. GIL operated the local online MLS (multiple listing service) at the time. Brokers and realtors who were not GIL members were, therefore, at a competitive disadvantage. The COFECE commission agreed. In fact, it mentions that the damage done by GIL and the AMPI-Chapala associations far exceeded the maximum fines it was able to impose.
The GIL group, possibly in light of the financial consequences of the complaint, abandoned GIL as an association, and formed a new one called CAR (Chapala Association of Realtors), which now operates the local MLS service. Some of the real estate companies have also changed their names in the mean time.

The release of the ruling document this week is hardly expected to increase the confidence of prospective real estate buyers at a time of already low real estate sales in the Lake Chapala area. Requests for interviews with some of those fined have not been responded to.

An interview with the complainant, Justus Hauser of All-in-1 Mexico Real Estate, is currently being scheduled, and will be published in this publication in the near future.

Written by Lisa L. Jorgensen
Published: 26 August 2014



Sep 5, 2014, 6:34 AM

Post #2 of 4 (8099 views)


Re: [Ian948] Realtors Found Guilty in Chapala Price Fixing

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I got caught up in a similar situation in Mazatlan a few years back....not a pleasant thing! It was suspected that one of the members of AMPI didn't like something said so claimed price fixing. I was present at one meeting where it was "suggested" that we all use the same scale of commission rates and it was SOUNDLY refused by almost everyone. But that was sufficient for the wheels to be set in motion. The government investigated and levied HUGE fine so the group retained an attorney in D.F. and he was able to get the fine greatly reduced. We all had to send copies of all our transactions for years, showing the rates charged and of course, they were all over the board. Nevertheless, the government could not lose face, so they did reduce the fine but would not cancel it. They calculated it from the inception of the organization in Mazatlan. Interestingly enough, I had already retired and resigned from the group and technically had never been a member during the period that levied the fine BUT I still had to "share" to the tune of over $6,000 !!!! I would probably not want to join that group again as the national association did nothing for us and the affiliation with NAR of the U.S. was useless as well even though we paid dues to both.

Chapala Payaso

Sep 5, 2014, 5:46 PM

Post #3 of 4 (8026 views)


Re: [Ian948] Realtors Found Guilty in Chapala Price Fixing

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Check this out:


Sep 5, 2014, 10:41 PM

Post #4 of 4 (7998 views)


Re: [Chapala Payaso] Realtors Found Guilty in Chapala Price Fixing

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Thanks the one forum I did not find - perfect !

Appreciate the heads up and the many and various perspectives.
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