On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Maryland Attorney General took action against the participants in a mortgage-kickback scheme. The CFPB alleged that the Maryland-based title company’s executives and loan officers traded cash and marketing services in exchange for mortgage referrals. Under proposed consent orders filed today, if entered by the court, five of the six defendants would be banned from the mortgage industry and required to pay a total of $662,500 in redress and penalties. No one may give or receive anything of value for the referral of settlement services where there is a federally related mortgage. The CFPB has been enforcing these provisions stringently and is paying particular attention to marketing and services agreements (MSAs) or those arrangements purporting to be MSAs. On Thursday February 19, 2015, NAR hosted a webinar on MSA and other agreements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). A link to the recording and NAR Dos and Don'ts info from MSAs is below.
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