CFPB Takes Enforcement Action for Violations of RESPA’s Kickback Provisions

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The CFPB announced it had entered into a consent order with a mortgage lender for violations of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Section 8 generally prohibits receiving kickbacks, fees, or anything of value in exchange for referring a consumer to a real estate settlement service provider or the sharing of real estate settlement service fees for reasons other than for services actually performed. According to the CFPB, the mortgage lender rented office space within a local bank, the bank referred customers interested in mortgages exclusively to the mortgage lender, and in exchange, the mortgage lender purportedly rented office space from the bank at inflated rates that were “tied . . . to loan volume,” and ended up being higher than the general market rate for renting comparable office space. The terms of the consent order require the mortgage lender to pay over $27,000 as disgorgement for the origination fees collected from March 2012 through November 2012 and to pay a civil money penalty.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this informational piece (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Topics:  Anti-Kickback Statute, CFPB, Enforcement Actions, Real Estate Market, RESPA

Published In: Consumer Protection Updates, Finance & Banking Updates, Residential Real Estate Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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