Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney of the Sterbcow Law Group, is speaking at RESPRO‘s 30th Annual Conference at the Ritz Carlton Resort in Lake Tahoe on May 23, 2023. The topic “The Evolving AfBA Model–Compliantly Transforming Fixed Costs Into Variable Expenses In An Uncertain Market” will discuss how this challenging real estate market is driving title insurance agents and business owners to adapt, and transforming fixed costs into variable costs, especially in a volatile environment, is at the top of almost every operator’s “to-do” list. This session will examine the evolution of the traditional JV and ABA business model in the face of the existing down cycle. Panelists will discuss how successful JV operators are not only transitioning their expenses into variable costs, but doing so compliantly. The panel will consider such things as offering back office support for JVs while staying on the right side of the “core services” consideration. Attendees will hear not only about compliance strategies for the evolving JV models, but practical, operational considerations as well. Mr. Sterbcow will be joined with Mike Larosa (Chief Operating Officer for the Florida Agency Network), Aaron Davis (CEO of ClosingSuite.com), and moderated by Chuck Cain (SVP of National Agency Division at FNF).
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has rescinded the highly controversial Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, “RESPA Compliance And Marketing Services Agreements” and issued new the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) guidance on Section 8 on the topics of “Gifts and Promotional Activities” and “Marketing Services Agreements“. The rescission of Compliance Bulletin 2015-05 clears up the widespread confusion that former CFPB Director Richard Cordray created when he issued the MSA bulletin. The CFPB’s Brian Schneider wrote the “CFPB provides clearer rules of the road for RESPA marketing service agreements” on the Bureau’s blog “[I]n order to provide clearer rules of the road and promote a culture of compliance, the Bureau is publishing guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the RESPA Section 8 topics. The FAQs provide an overview of certain provisions of RESPA Section 8 and respective Regulation X sections, and addresses the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in Bureau inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs).”
Schneider wrote “the Bureau determined that Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements, does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X and therefore is rescinding it. The Bureau’s rescission of the Bulletin does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal. Whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including the details of how the MSA is structured and implemented. MSAs remain subject to scrutiny, and we remain committed to vigorous enforcement of RESPA Section 8.”
One of the biggest takeaways in the MSA guidance is in the Bureau’s use of a real estate agent entering into a MSA agreement with a lender. In the past MSAs where lenders entered into MSAs with individual real estate agents or real estate teams was considered off limits due to the direct consumer interaction that real estate agents and real estate agent teams had so MSAs were largely limited to real estate brokerages since this was seen as a business to business arrangement due to the brokerages limited interaction with consumers.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Sues a Chicago Mortgage Company Alleging “Redlining” Violations Based on Political Speech and Social Commentary Broadcast on Conservative Radio Station
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the controversial brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren, filed suit in Chicago yesterday against Townstone Financial, a small mortgage company, charging “redlining” violations based on political speech and social commentary broadcast on a conservative radio station. The Complaint alleges that statements made about crime in Chicago and support for police discouraged African-Americans from applying to their company and that the fact that their weekly radio show was broadcast on a conservative talk radio station discriminated against African-Americans.
James Bopp, Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm of Terre Haute, Indiana and co-counsel for Townstone, said that “The CFPB is using this case to drive all banking and mortgage companies away from advertising on conservative talk radio and to punish mainstream conservative political speech and social commentary. The CFPB has long been controversial and just lost a case in the United States Supreme Court for being improperly structured. They have been waiting years to file a case on the eve of a Presidential election to damage conservative voices. This is another federal agency weaponized to attack conservatives that needs to be stopped.”
Sterbcow Law Group’s Managing Attorney, Marx David Sterbcow, will speak at the 2020 27th Annual Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc. “RESPRO” Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on April 24, 2020. The RESPRO27 will be held at the Tempe Marriott at the Buttes. The presentation “Top Down Affiliated Business Arrangement “AfBA” Compliance Demands: The Impact of Principal and Client Compliance Demands on AfBAs and Other Recent Developments” will focus on the rapidly changing terrain of AfBA compliance demands originating from sources other than the government and the practical ramifications for adopting some of these demands into your affiliated business.
The seminar will discuss the benefits of having third parties Audit your affiliated business for Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act “RESPA” compliance based on new and evolving compliance expectations from banks, non-bank lenders, title insurance underwriters, and government regulators. Joining Marx will be Trip Riley with Saul Weing, Arnstein & Lehr and Charles Cain with WFG National Title.
For more information on RESPRO27
Marx Sterbcow with the Sterbcow Law Group’s RESPA Law Resource Center has been invited to speak at the Real Estate Settlement Providers Organization’s “RESPRO” 26th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 27, 2019 at 8:45 AM at the Ritz Carlton Hotel’s Carrollton Ballroom. The presentation “Whither the CFPB: State Unfair Deceptive Abusive Acts Practices, Regulatory and Private Sector Compliance Issues, Activities and Requirements” will review the most recent federal and state mortgage, title insurance, and real estate brokerage regulatory actions.” The session will discuss how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and various state mortgage and title insurance regulatory agencies are interpreting UDAAP/RESPA. The session will also discuss what compliance expectations the CFPB’s Enforcement division will have when a company is under investigation and the general outlook of what is going on or not going on at the CFPB. The presentation will hit on issues involving private sector mortgage lending compliance involving Affiliated Business Arrangements and those how those expectations extend to class action mitigation risks.
Charles “Chuck” Cain from Cincinnati, Ohio (Executive Vice President Agency at WFG and Of Counsel to the Sterbcow Law Group) and Francis “Trip” Riley from Princeton, New Jersey (Partner with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP) will co-present with Mr. Sterbcow in this session.
Marx Sterbcow, the Managing Attorney for the Sterbcow Law Group LLC, has been invited to speak at the 2018 RESPRO 25th Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The session titled “CFPB Enforcement and Technology Monitoring Expectations for Affiliated Business Arrangements” is scheduled for 9:00-10:00 AM on April 11, 2018. This presentation will discusses how a new technology oversight compliance software reporting tool helps RESPA governed Affiliated Businesses Arrangements “AfBA” stay compliant based on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Meridian Title Consent Order. The session co-presented with Francis “Trip” Riley, Partner at Saul Ewing, and will be moderated by Charles “Chuck” Cain, EVP WFG National Title Insurance Company and Of Counsel to the Sterbcow Law Group. Marx Sterbcow and Trip Riley are two members of the Meridian Title legal team who were involved in representing Meridian Title in connection with the CFPB Consent Order.
The presentation will provide critical information which all affiliated businesses should be aware of as it pertains to the monitoring of AfBA disclosure forms in real time. In addition we will discuss how the use of this new technology also adds operational value to any companies operational compliance and business development needs. We will explain how the CFPB Enforcement division views this type of technology monitoring as a critical piece for all settlement service companies, especially those in the title industry, as a new expectation for medium to large-sized companies to adopt. We will provide an in-depth look into how a growing number of title agencies across the United States are already utilizing this title production overlay software compliance and business intelligence technology, and how this technology will help companies stay RESPA compliant, and what the future holds for these types of applications as they enter the marketplace.
To Register for the 25th Annual RESPRO Conference click here
The Legal Description and Dodd Frank Update have teamed up again to provide their 5th annual Regulatory Outlook Webinar on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 (2:00 – 3:30 P.M. EST) educating mortgage, title and settlement services professionals on the compliance trends and issues to expect in the New Year. The yearly webinar series has quickly become one of the most important educational sessions each year to find out what in store for the State of the Settlement Service Industry in the coming year.
This webinar features instructors Francis “Trip” Riley of Saul Ewing, Loretta Salzano of Franzén and Salzano, and Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group. These nationally-recognized attorneys will join moderator Danielle Kaiser of NATIC in a discussion of the pressing political, regulatory and compliance issues to watch in 2017 and how to prepare your business.
Instruction will include:
Marx Sterbcow, the Managing Attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group, and Charles Cain, Vice President, Agency, WFG National Title Insurance Co. will present at the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit [NS3] at the Le Meridien & Sheraton Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
The session titled “Ethics: UDAAP, Reverse Vendor Oversight and Legal Malpractice” will discuss how Title agents and attorneys are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards, and how Dodd Frank’s ban on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) have given the CFPB broad authority to root out questionable activities. Learn how UDAAP is requiring agents to gear up when it comes to ethical conduct, particularly in the area of RESPA compliance. The presentation will explain how UDAAP could make vendor management liability and oversight a two-way street through a new enforcement tactic known as “Reverse Vendor Management Oversight”. Reverse Vendor Management Oversight could challenge the bounds of legal malpractice by requiring title agents, lawyers, and attorney notaries to be on the lookout for vendor compliance issues with their clients. Speakers will share real-world examples, and attendees will walk away with actionable tips for remaining UDAAP compliant in an increasingly active RESPA and UDAAP enforcement environment.
October Research Corporation has generously offered a Discount Code to attend NS3 for all friends and clients of the Sterbcow Law Group. To receive your Discount Code please contact the Sterbcow Law Group and we will send you the special discounted rate code to attend NS3.
Marx Sterbcow, managing attorney with the Sterbcow Law Group, and James Milano, member with Weiner Brodsky Kider PC will speak on RESPA News’s webinar series on the topic of Lead Generation Compliance. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 2:20-3:15 PM EST. The Editor of RESPA News, Justine Jones will moderate the webinar.
We will train participants on the regulations governing the real estate lead generation industry and what increased attention the CFPB, Federal Trade Commission, and other agencies mean for your business practices. The webinar will focus on how the CFPB expanded its authority with the use of UDAAP, the potential ramifications of Regulation Z’s Loan Officer Compensation Rule, the dangers of co-marketing with other settlement service providers, and how to carefully vet lead generation companies.
Marx Sterbcow, managing attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group, has been invited to speak at the Louisiana Bankers Association 2015 Bank Counsel Conference on the topic of “Who’s Your Vendor? Secondary Market Compliance & Title Agent Vendor Management.” The session will provide insight into how banks should be managing their vendors and what requirements they should be requiring their title agent vendors to have in place. The presentation will also focus on managing the third party vendor management risks in a Post-TRID world and the expectations the secondary market will be playing in this new changing regulatory landscape.
The 2015 Bank Counsel Conference will be held on December 10-11, 2015 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans.