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The Special Compensation Fund provides financial protection for members of the public who have lost money because of the actions of a licensee.
If you have entrusted money to a licensee or an unlicensed individual at a real estate brokerage, and your money has been:
- Misappropriated or wrongfully converted;
- Intentionally not paid over or accounted for; or
- Obtained by fraud;
you may wish to file a claim for compensation from the Special Compensation Fund.
Learn more about the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation.
If you think you’ve suffered a compensable loss, you may be entitled to compensation. The Special Compensation Fund can potentially reimburse you for all or part of your loss.
Payment is limited to a maximum of $200,000 to a single claimant, or if there are multiple claimants, to a total of $1,000,000 for all claimants from a single brokerage.
The Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation (“RECFC”) is responsible for overseeing the Special Compensation Fund. The RECFC’s Board of Directors consists of three directors appointed by the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (“BCFSA”) and two directors appointed by the British Columbia Real Estate Association.
The Superintendent of Real Estate is responsible for administering claims from consumers to the fund.
If you believe you’ve suffered a compensable loss, contact BCFSA immediately.
Make a claim to the Special Compensation Fund: [email protected]
We will send you an information package with full details about trust protection coverage and the process of filing a claim to the Real Estate Compensation Fund.
We encourage you to obtain independent legal advice about your claim.
You must file your claim within two years of the earlier of either:
- The date on which the compensable loss occurred;
- If the licence of the responsible brokerage was cancelled or suspended after the conduct that caused the compensable loss, the date of that cancellation or suspension; or
- The date that the Superintendent of Real Estate publishes a notice that compensable loss may have occurred.
If a claim is made, the Superintendent of Real Estate must consider the claim and may do one of three things:
- Conduct a hearing to determine whether you have suffered a compensable loss and, if applicable, assess the amount of that loss
- Decline to make either a determination or assessment, or both, because it considers the matter would more effectively be dealt with by a court proceeding, or
- Postpone conducting a hearing, until a discipline hearing or court proceeding has concluded.
If the Superintendent finds there has been a compensable loss, they will assess the amount of the loss and issue a certificate specifying the amount of the compensable loss. Where a certificate is issued and delivered to the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation (“RECFC”) by the claimant, the RECFC must pay the claimant the amount in the certificate, less any amount of the compensable loss previously recovered or compensated.
A single claimant can receive a maximum of $200,000 from the Special Compensation Fund.
When there are multiple claimants against a single brokerage, payments are limited to a maximum of $1,000,000 in total regardless of the number of claimants.
Payments will be adjusted for amounts already recovered from other sources.
A finding of compensable loss must be a decision arising from a hearing on evidence – it cannot arise from a consent order process or from a judgment in default.
If you are seeking compensation through the courts, you must provide written notice of the court proceeding to BCFSA and to the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation (“RECFC”). The RECFC has the option of being a party to the court proceeding. If the court makes a finding on the evidence of a compensable loss and assesses an amount, that finding is binding on the Compensation Committee and the RECFC in the same manner as a finding of a compensable loss by the Compensation Committee.
Everyone who is licensed to provide real estate services in BC contributes to the Special Compensation Fund through their licensing fees.
According to the Real Estate Services Act, if a claim is rejected by the Superintendent of Real Estate after a hearing, applicants do not have a right to appeal. An applicant in either of these situations is encouraged to seek independent legal advice concerning their options, which may include judicial review at the BC Supreme Court. BCFSA staff are unable to provide advice in this respect.