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10. com. Stay informed and sign up for NJMoneyHelp. com's weekly e newsletter. But the long standing relationship between real estate brokerages and home warranty providers—with regard to how compensation can be offered to practitioners—was called into question in 2008 in an informal letter from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The letter suggested that brokers and agents could be violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act if they accepted a fee for selling home warranties. That’s because referral fees for “settlement services” are banned under the federal law, and confusion has reigned ever since over the acceptable conditions for receiving compensation. Even a clarification letter from HUD two years later, which said warranty sales were permissible as long as sales efforts constituted more than simply referrals and fees were reasonable, did not stem the confusion, since the follow up guidance continued to suggest that warranties were a “settlement service. ” The conflicting interpretations led to lawsuits, including a class action case against American Home Shield.
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I even upgraded to a premium plan. My furnace is over 20 years old, has been involved in a major lawsuit for leaking CO, and my warranty company refuses to replace it. When I asked them how much it would be to pay out if I just want to buy a new furnace myself, because hey, don't want the family and I to die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the middle of the night, they tell me the payout is $60. This for a part that I can't find for less than $250. We have small children, it is mid winter and currently we have been without a furnace now for a week and counting, while the warranty company continues to order parts and repair when we have had 3 separate HVAC pros recommend replacement, not to mention one of their own techs refused to work on this unit. Home warranties are a complete waste of money, unless you don't mind being nickeled and dimed to death and living with appliances that are continually dying, and lets not forget dangerous!I have documented all of this and if my family and I dies from CO poisoning, I have made sure my surviving family will sue my home warranty company. We will not renew our warranty when it comes up, but will instead save the money toward a new furnace. The only time I would recommend a home warranty is when you buy a home and the seller pays for it, maybe you can have one expensive repair taken care of in that first year, but don't expect them to replace anything or be timely about it. And expect to be on hold for 20 to 60 minutes on the phone every time you talk to them. As a Realtor I have been in the habit of buying these policies for my buyer clients. I have mixed feelings about these.