RESPA Threat: The CFPB Challenges MSAs and More
Recorded Oct. 29, 2015
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just issued anxiously-awaited guidance on the legality of marketing service arrangements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. And unfortunately for mortgage lenders, the new guidance offers little comfort that many MSAs won’t run afoul of RESPA. In fact, the CFPB flatly states in its new guidance that the agency believes “many MSAs are designed to evade RESPA’s prohibition on the payment and acceptance of kickbacks and referral fees.”
Find out what the new CFPB guidance on MSAs means for the mortgage industry and the future of lender/realty firm arrangements in the recorded Inside Mortgage Finance webinar “RESPA Threat: The CFPB Challenges MSAs and More.”
Referral fees have always been dangerous ground in the mortgage business ever since RESPA took effect four decades ago. But the understanding of what types of arrangements set off the illegal kickback alarm changed dramatically when RESPA enforcement passed from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—even though the actual regulation stayed exactly the same.
The CFPB’s interpretation of how marketing services agreements and other business development arrangements meet, or don’t meet, the RESPA rules presented such a risk that Wells Fargo preemptively shut down long-existing programs. PHH, stung by a $109 million penalty when the CFPB determined that its now-dormant mortgage reinsurance plan was a RESPA violation, is appealing the CFPB’s sudden departure from HUD’s past RESPA guidance.
The CFPB’s new guidance states that “many MSAs necessarily involve substantial legal and regulatory risk for the parties to the agreement, risks that are greater and less capable of being controlled by careful monitoring than mortgage industry participants may have recognized in the past.” Learn about these risks and whether your firm can manage them.
You’ll hear from:
- Donald Lampe, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
- Jeffrey Naimon, Partner, BuckleySandler
- John Socknat, Practice Leader, Mortgage Banking Group, Ballard Spahr
Among the questions discussed during the 90-minute webinar:
- What MSA structures are okay?
- How is the CFPB determining if an agreement crosses the line?
- Should you shut down all MSAs?
- What are the RESPA enforcement implications beyond marketing services agreements?
- Are lender-Realtor joint ventures in danger?
Please note:The webinar manual provides a program outline, speaker bios and presentations, and pertinent articles on the subject from Inside Mortgage Finance and our other newsletters.
The recording contains both an integrated audio/video copy of the conference as well as an audio-only version and can be downloaded from your InsideMortgageFinance.com account.