The RESPA Affiliated Business Arrangement (AfBA) Disclosure form is required whenever a settlement service provider involved in a RESPA covered transaction refers the consumer to a provider with whom the referring party has an ownership or other beneficial interest.
The referring party must provide the AfBA disclosure to the consumer at or prior to the time of referral. The affiliated business arrangement disclosure must describe the business arrangement that exists between the two providers and give the borrower an estimate of the second provider’s charges.
Except in cases where a lender refers a borrower to an attorney, credit reporting agency or real estate appraiser to represent the lender’s interest in the transaction, the referring party may not require the consumer to use the particular provider being referred.
Sometimes, several businesses that offer settlement services are owned or controlled by a common corporate parent. These businesses are known as “affiliates.” When a lender, real estate broker, or other participant in your settlement refers you to an affiliate for a settlement service (such as when a real estate broker refers you to a mortgage broker affiliate). The purpose of this form is to remind consumers that they are generally not required, with certain exceptions, to use the affiliate and are free to shop for other providers.