Articles Posted in UDAAP RESPA

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has rescinded the highly controversial Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, “RESPA Compliance And Marketing Services Agreements” and issued new  the Real Estate Settlement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.

Marx Sterbcow will provide a RESPA Compliance and CFPB Update at the Minnesota Land Title Association “MLTA” 2020 Spring Conference at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest hotel on Monday, April 6, 2020 from 10:15 to 11:15 AM.  The session will first focus on the “Do’s and Don’ts of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)” covering such topics as marketing services agreements, affiliated business arrangements, real estate lead generation program compliance, referrals and gifts.  The second part of the presentation will discuss the latest in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” enforcement trends and outlook for the coming year.

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

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