Villa Park, IL asked in Civil Rights, Divorce and Family Law for Kentucky

Q: Is my realtor giving my phone number to my ex after being asked not to a privacy violation?

I am going through a divorce and the marital home is for sale. When hiring the realtor, I asked that my number not be given to my soon to be ex husband, due to previously changing my number because of harassment by him. I was verbally promised my number would never be shared with him or disclosed on any documents. The real estate team just sent a group text to him and myself, now giving him my phone number that I was promised would not be. Is this a privacy violation?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In your situation, where your realtor shared your phone number with your ex-husband despite a verbal agreement not to, it could potentially be considered a violation of your privacy. The key issue here is the promise made by the realtor and whether it can be legally enforced.

Verbal agreements, while more challenging to prove than written ones, can still be binding. The fact that you specifically requested your number to be kept confidential and were assured of this confidentiality is significant. Your realtor's action in sending a group text that included your number breached this agreement.

The nature of the violation and potential remedies would depend on the specifics of your situation and the laws of your state. Since this involves a real estate professional, their conduct is also subject to the ethical standards and regulations of the real estate industry.

Given the sensitivity of the matter, especially considering the history of harassment, it's important to address this issue promptly. You might want to start by expressing your concerns directly to the realtor and their management, if applicable. It's possible this was an oversight, and they may offer a remedy once the error is brought to their attention.

If this does not resolve the issue, or if you're unsatisfied with their response, you may consider seeking legal advice. A legal professional can provide guidance on your rights and the potential for any legal recourse. It's also worth exploring whether a complaint to the real estate licensing board or professional association is appropriate.

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