Industry NewsMortgage

The dark side of real estate bundling

Packaged services bad for consumers, consultant argues

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Everett Ives doesn't mince words about his dislike of real estate bundling. He believes that instead of helping consumers as it's purported to do, bundling mortgage and closing services actually hurts them. "It's used as a tool to steal, and more particularly a tool to trap the borrower," said Ives, a Texas-based consultant to mortgage brokers and bankers. He is actively involved with the Texas Association of Mortgage Brokers. Bundling real estate services is the process of combining fees for credit reports, title reports and other items needed to close a mortgage. Many large lenders and settlement companies started bundling services as a way to offer borrowers a one-stop-shop experience when closing their home purchase. Ives' comments came after he took issue with a recent Inman News story covering a bundling panel at Real Estate Connect 2004. He pointed out that the three people who spoke were simply "out selling their wares." Speakers on the panel included Bob Sullivan with ABN AM...