2009-08-14 / Top Stories

Pheffer Outraged By Program End

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer is outraged that the NYS Secretary of State has allowed the Queens County Real Estate Cease & Desist Program to expire on August 1. According to Pheffer, despite testimony at two Queens-based hearings and support letters from elected officials, civic leaders and hundreds of residents, the Secretary of State believes that there is insufficient evidence to justify the continuation of the program in Queens. The Secretary believes additional evidence of solicitation violations by brokers is needed to renew the program.

"I cannot disagree with this position more strongly," said Pheffer. "Reduced complaints of solicitation violations, is proof in and of itself of how successful the program is in Queens."

The Cease & Desist Program, operated by the NYS Secretary of State, has been a vital consumer service that allows Queens residents to place their names and addresses on a Do Not Contact list which is distributed to area real estate brokers. This list affords homeowners protection from unwanted solicitations to sell their homes. Brokers who violate the list are subject to fines and/or license suspension.

"I am fearful that ending the program could quickly lead to the return of past practices by many brokers where residents will face blanket solicitations to sell their homes, and the elderly and those in economic crisis will be scared into fleeing neighborhoods. Ending the Cease & Desist program could destabilize communities throughout Queens," said Pheffer.

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