Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney of the Sterbcow Law Group, will be discussing “Lender Affiliated Business Arrangements as Easy Targets for Fair Housing and Fair Lending Regulators” at the RESPRO Conference on March 31, 2022 in the Four Seasons Hotel, in Las Vegas. The session will discuss racial equity under the Biden Administration and discuss how this focus has accelerated Fair Lending Act and Fair Housing Act enforcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice. Joining Marx will be Charles Cain who is the SVP of National Agency for the FNF Family of Companies and Trip Riley, Partner at Saul Ewing.
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has rescinded the highly controversial Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, “RESPA Compliance And Marketing Services Agreements” and issued new the Real Estate Settlement Procedures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, 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
Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group will present in two sessions at the 2017 Real Estate Service Providers Council “RESPRO” Annual Conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2017. The RESPRO Conference is from April 18-20, 2017.
The first session “Unfair Deceptive Abusive Acts Practices UDAAP: The Cloud Still Hangs Low” is from 1:30 PM– 2:30 PM in the DaVinci 3 Ballroom. Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Francis (Trip) Riley with Saul Ewing. The presentation will focus on how UDAPP will continue to effect CFPB’s actions on settlement service providers and how RESPA regulated Affiliated Business Arrangements (AfBAs) need to be cognizant of their marketing and advertising efforts. We will address cases of interest and suggest tips that every company should incorporate.
The second session “RESPA: Stretching the Envelope on Prohibited Referrals” is from 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM in the DaVinci 3 Ballroom. Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Stan Gordon with Gordon & Associates and Francis (Trip) Riley with Saul Ewing. The presentation will focus on the basic parameters of what is prohibited referral activity have expanded under CFPB which has resulted in a chilling effect on the financial settlement service industry. The ambiguity in RESPA on defining a referral and the perceived risks in marketing activities in various circumstances will be discussed. The presentation will provide some clarifications on when an endorsement of a service provider becomes a prohibited referral. The session will also address whether it is a violation of Section 8 for a nationwide real estate brokerage group to promote a service provider throughout its owned or affiliated companies to their management and sales agents. How considerations under PHH and RESPA exception Section 8(c)(2) need to be considered and is the exception absolute as implied by the current ruling.