The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation “FDIC” on November 30, 2019 entered into a Consent Order FDIC-18-0142k which ordered HomeStreet Bank, a Seattle, Washington based bank to pay a civil money penalty of $1.35 million dollars. The FDIC alleged that HomeStreet Bank’s now discontinued Home Loan Center-based mortgage banking business line violated Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2607, and its implementing regulation, Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. Part 1024, by entering into certain co-marketing agreements using online platforms and desk rental agreements which resulted in the payment of fees to real estate brokers and home builders for their referrals of mortgage loan business. The FDIC also stated that all of HomeStreet Bank’s agreements with those real estate brokers and home builders have been terminated.
The FDIC’s Consent Order stated that HomeStreet Bank entered into the settlement without admitting or denying any charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices or violations of law or regulation.
Unfortunately though, the FDIC’s Consent Order did not provide any industry guidance on what it found objectionable in the co-marketing agreements using online platforms or the desk rental agreements. The Sterbcow Law Group hopes the FDIC will in the future provide more detail in its enforcement actions in order to help provide more clarity to the real estate and mortgage industry.