Q: I have a question about California State regulations regarding compliance by licensed agents and brokers.
There has been recent U.S review of the requirements for licensed R/E agents to record text and/or chat messages involving regulated activities such as transactions with clients. If such regulations are in place, can you give me a number reference in the California Code?
A: I am unaware of any change in law requiring all text messages to be stored. Business and Professions Code Section 10148, and Civil Code Section 1624, governs Real Estate professionals' requirements to maintain records. The B&P Code explicitly states "This subdivision shall not be construed to require a licensed real estate broker to retain electronic messages of an ephemeral nature, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 1624 of the Civil Code." But you need to read Civil Code 1624 to determine whether the texts are material in nature, or if they are just ancillary.
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See: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV§ionNum=1624, which states in relevant part:
"(d) An electronic message of an ephemeral nature that is not designed to be retained or to create a permanent record, including, but not limited to, a text message or instant message format communication, is insufficient under this title to constitute a contract to convey real property, in the absence of a written confirmation that conforms to the requirements of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b)."
It's a good idea to keep records of such communications, nonetheless. Better safe than sorry. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.
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