The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) said that it revoked a record number of real estate licenses over the past year – a total of 633, for a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

For its fiscal year ended June 30, DRE also said that it suspended another 163 real estate licenses and had 90 licenses that were surrendered. In addition, the department noted that disciplinary actions have risen 60 percent over the past three years in the state, and that this trend will likely continue. A total of 5,400 investigations have been opened since 2007.

DRE Commissioner Jeff Davi noted that while loan modification scam complaints were most prevalent, the department’s most recent enforcement activity has centered around short sale fraud.

Davi has urged California homebuyers to log on to the department’s website to check out real estate agents and brokers before employing them. The database provides consumers with information on licensed agents and brokers, including records of disciplinary action or license revocation.

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