Fines & Violations FAQs

Did you just get a fine? It's not the end of the world. Here's how to find out more.


The Basics

Like most MLSs nationwide, the board of directors has adopted a policy of fining users who enter incomplete or inaccurate data, or fail to enter critical and essential listing information.

The sole purpose is to ensure you can trust the accuracy and reliability of the information when assisting your customers.

We use Listing Data Checker (LDC), an automated database scanning system, that is programmed to catch most instances in which the data is not in compliance with our rules and regulations. We also receive confidential agent reported violations, for which our admin staff will confirm and follow up on.


Corrections & Appeals

In most cases, you have three days to correct the error after receiving a warning email notice from Stellar MLS before a fine is imposed. However, when the violation constitutes a potential violation of state or federal law, or it raises concerns about unauthorized use of, or access to, the MLS database, the board of directors considers these serious enough to warrant immediate and substantially heftier fines, ranging from $500 to $5,000, with no courtesy warning.

Please contact our admin team at 1-800-686-7451, or at Admin@stellarmls.com, if you need help making corrections.

Click here to view the Stellar MLS Rules & Regulations.

If a violation is not corrected within three days after receiving the initial email notification you will incur a fine as outlined in Article 11.4: Penalties for Inaccurate or Incomplete Data.

Additionally, a $25 fine is issued for each week that the violation is not corrected (for up to 30 days). If the violation remains uncorrected after 30 days, even if you have paid all fines, your Stellar MLS access is suspended.

The board of directors has adopted a progressive fine schedule for multiple violations by the same user within a two-year period. The progressive fine schedule is per-agent, per-offense. Please see the Stellar MLS Rules & Regulations, Article 11.4: Penalties for Inaccurate or Incomplete Data, for more information, including the fine schedule.

The term "within a two-year period" is a 730 day period.

Fines are billed to the agent as a courtesy, however the broker of record is ultimately responsible.

All fines must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date or your Stellar MLS account is suspended and your broker is notified. Your invoice(s) will then be applied to your broker's account who will then have 30 days to pay it. Should the invoice remain unpaid, your broker and all those in your office risk losing MLS access until the fine is paid.

You can make a request for refund or reduction of the fine or fee by filling out the refund request form.

Please note: The violation must be corrected and the fine must be paid before any request is submitted. Fines needs to be paid within 30 days of the invoice date and a waiver must be submitted within 20 days of payment date. You will be reimbursed if any or all of the fine is waived.

Please note the following process:
  • In order for any request to be considered, the violation must be corrected and the fine must be paid. (You will be reimbursed if any or all of the fine is waived.)
  • All requests will be considered by the Compliance Audit Review Team (CART), who will either approve or deny the request.
  • If the refund is not approved by the CART, you will have the opportunity to request a hearing for consideration by an MLS panel. The decision of the MLS panel will be final unless an appeal is requested.
  • Appeals will be heard by members of the Stellar MLS Board of Directors Executive Committee. The decision of the Executive Committee is final.
  • All actions of the CART and the MLS panel are reviewed and amended or affirmed by the Stellar MLS Board of Directors.

Please note: the board of directors has a stringent policy about waiving fines, since Stellar MLS has a 72-hour and a 24-hour warning notice for most violations before any fines are issued.


Reporting a Violation

The option to confidentially report a violation is found as an active link on the bottom of the broker synopsis report.

The compliance team is then notified of the reported violation, The admin team then researches and sends out the appropriate notice. This process could take 5-7 business days for a resolution.

Yes, but please be courteous when informing a fellow professional of a possible violation. Remember, the next time it could be them calling you!

Yes. We prefer you to use the report a violation button in Matrix, but we will always accept a report over the phone.

Yes. The "Agent Report" system is confidential. We do not disclose the identity of those reporting possible violations under any circumstances.


Additional Questions

Administration & Compliance Departments
Administration
Compliance