This is part 5 of a Series. This past week, (October 5, 2015), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Compliance Bulletin with the subject line: RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements. This is to date, the most comprehensive profile of the Bureau interpretation of RESPA compliance for real estate service providers. Because, it is a lengthy document and contains a lot of important information, I have broken up this blog post into several 'bite sized' pieces.
WHY IS THE BUREAU CONCERNED?
The section convering specific concerns occupies much of page 3 of the bulletin issued by the CFPB regarding RESPA compliance and Marketing Service Agreements (MSA's).
In a previous post, we mentioned the following:
A TROUBLING TREND...
But there is also another troubling trend which the bulletin highlights. The issue of NOT providing service at all, yet being paid as though services were provided. The following sentence highlights this issue: "In the course of investigations, the Bureau has found many examples of settlement service providers keeping payments received from other providers without actually performing any contractually-obligated services. They include instances of not performing underwriting, processing, and closing services, not executing title insurance work; not carrying out marketing services; and not delivering financing to fund the origination of loans."
The conclusion drawn by the Bureau is that the only reasonable inference which can be made for all this non performance is that the MSA is part of an agreement to refer settlement service business in exchange for kickbacks.
Future blog posts will cover the following: