§467-16  Real estate recovery fund; use of fund; fees.  (a)  The commission shall establish and maintain a trust fund which shall be known as the real estate recovery fund from which any person aggrieved by an act, representation, transaction, or conduct of a duly licensed real estate broker, or real estate salesperson, upon the grounds of fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, may recover upon the commission's settlement of a claim or by order of the circuit court or district court of the county where the violation occurred, an amount of not more than $25,000 per transaction for damages sustained by the fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, including court costs and fees as set by law, and reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court.

     (b)  When any person makes application for an original license to practice as a real estate broker or salesperson the person shall pay, in addition to the person's original license fee, a real estate recovery fund fee as provided in rules adopted by the director of commerce and consumer affairs pursuant to chapter 91 for deposit in the real estate recovery fund.  If the commission does not issue the license, this fee shall be returned to the applicant.

     (c)  The commission, as the trustee of the real estate recovery fund, shall be authorized to expend the funds to:

     (1)  Retain private legal counsel to represent the commission in any action involving or which may result in payment from the real estate recovery fund;

     (2)  Retain a certified public accountant for accounting and auditing of the real estate recovery fund;

     (3)  Employ necessary personnel, not subject to chapter 76, to assist the commission in exercising its powers and duties with respect to the real estate recovery fund; and

     (4)  Retain a consultant to recover and collect any payments from the real estate recovery fund plus interest from the judgment debtor. [L 1967, c 187, pt of §1; HRS §467-16; am L 1972, c 51, §1; am L 1973, c 142, §2; am L 1976, c 143, §1; am L 1983, c 116, §5; gen ch 1985; am L 1987, c 208, §2; am L 1988, c 145, §3; am L 1995, c 241, §8; am L 2000, c 253, §150; am L 2019, c 29, §§11, 18(2); am L 2020, c 12, §§4, 8]


Rules of Court


  Applicability of Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure, with respect to §§467-16 to 467-25, see HRCP rule 81(b)(12).


Case Notes


  Appellants' contention that phrase "damages sustained", as used in this section, includes punitive damages was erroneous.  76 H. 39, 868 P.2d 457 (1994).

  "Any person aggrieved" means any person-claimant involved in one transaction.  4 H. App. 552, 670 P.2d 459 (1983).