Industry News

Coldwell Banker settles with HUD in alleged kickback case

Company accused of giving gifts to referring agents

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Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has agreed to pay $250,000 in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after a probe by HUD alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA, HUD said today. HUD asserted that Coldwell Banker's Atlanta real estate brokerage offices paid higher sales commissions and offered gifts and other incentives to its sales agents for referring business to an affiliated title company. Section 8 of RESPA prohibits a person from giving or accepting anything of value in exchange for the referral of settlement service business. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc. maintains an ownership interest in Regency Title Company in the Greater Atlanta area. After a yearlong investigation, HUD said it found that Coldwell Banker offered its sales agents incentives based on the number and volume of referrals to Regency Title. These incentives included include trips, Atlanta Braves baseball tickets, a...