August 19, 2010
Century 21 fired off a quick response to opposing counsel’s press release (read CENTURY 21: Franchise Lawsuit Granted Class Action Status) regarding class-action status being granted to its franchisee lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, current and former Century 21 franchise owners allege that after purchasing Century 21 in 1995, parent company Cendant misused franchisee proceeds and resources. The Defendants claim “The assertions put forth in this litigation are unfounded and without merit.”
Here is the press release issued by the Realogy, the Cendant spin-off that currently owns Century 21. Comments and opinions are invited below.
Realogy Rejects Plaintiffs’ Comments on Eight-Year-Old Lawsuit Filed in New Jersey
PARSIPPANY, NJ, Aug 18, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, issued the following response to a press release issued by opposing counsel for pending litigation in the New Jersey Superior Court:
The assertions put forth in this litigation are unfounded and without merit. We have capably managed the CENTURY 21 brand since its acquisition in 1995 and have continuously enhanced the brand through many market cycles, including the worst downturn in housing in the history of our country. Throughout, Century 21 Real Estate LLC has maintained its position as the world’s largest residential real estate brand with the most recognized name in real estate. The company has remained focused on the continued growth and development of its CENTURY 21 franchise system.
The claims in this 2002 lawsuit were without merit, and they remain so today. We will aggressively defend against these erroneous claims. This is a class action in which the complaint does not properly reflect the strong relationships we have with our current franchisees.
About Realogy Corporation Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, has a diversified business model that includes real estate franchising, brokerage, relocation and title services. Realogy’s world-renowned brands and business units include Better Homes and Gardens(R) Real Estate, CENTURY 21(R), Coldwell Banker(R), Coldwell Banker Commercial(R), The Corcoran Group(R), ERA(R), Sotheby’s International Realty(R), NRT LLC, Cartus and Title Resource Group. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise systems have approximately 14,400 offices and 264,000 sales associates doing business in 99 countries around the world. Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., Realogy (www.realogy.com) is owned by affiliates of Apollo Management, L.P., a leading private equity and capital markets investor.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE CENTURY 21 FRANCHISE, CENDANT CORP. OR REALOGY CORP.? WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
August 19, 2010
Former Century 21 franchisees suing their franchisor, Century 21 Real Estate Corp., and its parent company, Cendant Corp. have won class-action status for their lawsuit.
[Read the Realogy / Century 21 response: CENTURY 21 Claims Franchise Lawsuit is “Without Merit”]
The former Century 21 franchise owners allege that after purchasing Century 21 in 1995, Cendant misused franchisee proceeds and resources.
Here is the press release issued by the plaintiff’s law firm, Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP. Comments and opinions are invited below.
Century 21 Real Estate Franchisees Win Nationwide Class Certification in Cendant Lawsuit
Franchisees Say Parent Company Misappropriated Millions
MORRISTOWN, N.J., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ — A New Jersey Superior Court judge has certified a class of current and former Century 21 real estate franchisees in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and other claims against their franchisor, Century 21 Real Estate Corp., as well as its parent company, consumer and business services provider, Cendant Corp.
The lawsuit, filed in 2002 by attorneys from New York’s Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP, details how Cendant misused franchisee proceeds and resources after purchasing Century 21 in 1995. Century 21 is currently owned by Cendant spin-off Realogy Corp.
On Aug. 17, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Robert J. Brennan issued the ruling certifying a nationwide class of current and former Century 21 franchisees during the period from August 1995 to April 2002, whose franchise agreements contain a New Jersey jurisdiction clause. The class is estimated to include no fewer than 1,000 franchisees, but could exceed 4,000 franchisees.
Under a Master Franchise Agreement, Century 21 franchisees were required to contribute 2 percent of their gross revenue to the central National Advertising Fund (NAF) in addition to a 6 percent franchise service fee.
According to the lawsuit, Cendant failed to provide the level of services to Century 21 franchisees required by their agreements. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that NAF proceeds, which topped more than $40 million annually, were misappropriated and diverted to uses other than the benefit of Century 21, including the promotion of Century 21′s Cendant-owned real estate competitors. Shortly after the purchase of Century 21, Cendant also acquired Coldwell Banker and ERA.
“When Cendant purchased Century 21, they were the unquestioned leader of the real estate industry, however, by 2002 the ranking dropped to sixth in the country,” says Dan Drachler of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, one of the attorneys who represents the plaintiffs. “As a result of Cendant’s actions, Century 21 franchisees have suffered damages which may total in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” adds Robert S. Schachter, also of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling.
Plaintiffs are also represented by New Jersey-based Keefe Bartels LLC and the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Adorno & Yoss.
Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP represents clients nationwide in financial-related class action lawsuits. With offices in New York City; Garden City, N.Y.; and Seattle, the firm currently plays a leading role in numerous major securities and complex commercial litigations pending in federal and state courts.
SOURCE Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE CENTURY 21 FRANCHISE, CENDANT CORP. OR REALOGY CORP.? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.