Appeal from the Order of the State Real Estate Commission, in case of In the Matter of Real Estate Broker's License No.RB-024632-A, Associate Real Estate Broker's License No. AB-024632-A, and Real Estate Salesperson's License No. RS-048522-A, issued to Ira A. Shenk.
Richard J. Palazzo, for petitioner.
Steven Wennberg, Assistant Counsel, with him, Joyce McKeever, Chief Counsel, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and David F. Phifer, Chief Counsel, Department of State, for respondent.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 49]
Ira A. Shenk (Petitioner) appeals a decision by the State Real Estate Commission (Commission) to revoke Petitioner's real estate broker's, associate broker's and salesperson's licenses. We affirm.
The activities which formed the basis for the license revocations in this case are undisputed. The Commission found, based on a stipulation of facts, that on three separate occasions Petitioner falsely informed lending institutions that prospective buyers had tendered, in escrow, sufficient funds to cover the closing costs for the purchase of a home. The letters drafted by Petitioner were included as part of applications for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages and were relied upon by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine that the prospective buyers had met the minimum investment requirements
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 50]
for an FHA-insured mortgage. The purchasers, in fact, had only tendered a minimal down payment for the properties involved. The sellers in each case had agreed to pay the remaining settlement costs.*fn1
Based on these admittedly false representations, the Commission concluded, following a hearing, that Petitioner had violated Sections 604(a)(1) (making substantial misrepresentations), 604(a)(2) (making false promises likely to induce another to enter into an agreement), 604(a)(3) (pursuing a continued and flagrant course of misrepresentation), 604(a)(15) (violating a Commission regulation)*fn2 and 604(a)(20) (demonstrating bad faith, dishonesty and untrustworthiness in real estate transactions) of the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act,*fn3 63 P.S. § 455.604(a)(1), (2), (3), (15) and (20).
On appeal,*fn4 Petitioner has raised two issues for our consideration: (1) whether his due process rights were violated by Petitioner's failure to intelligently waive his right to counsel before the Commission, and (2) whether
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 51]
the sanction imposed by the Commission was too severe in light of the mitigating ...