Realogy and PHH score big win in RESPA class-action lawsuit

  • A lawsuit alleging that PHH Home Loans, a joint venture between Realogy Holdings and PHH Mortgage Corp., facilitated "unlawful referral fees and kickbacks" was challenged due to the RESPA statute of limitations.
  • On April 5, the court granted the motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
  • The decision is a win for Realogy and PHH right now, but options still remain open to the plaintiffs, too.

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The one-year statute of limitations on Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) lawsuits could be the undoing of a class-action suit filed against Realogy Holdings, franchisor of some of the best-known brands in real estate, and mortgage lender PHH Mortgage Corp. The lawsuit alleges that the joint venture between Realogy and PHH is a “sham” entity that violates RESPA, but Realogy and PHH scored a big win last week in their quest to get the case thrown out of court. The embattled partners have been accused of using their relationship to funnel kickbacks to settlement service providers. They moved for the court to dismiss the lawsuit based on RESPA’s one-year statute of limitations -- a motion that a California federal court granted on April 5. The court’s decision came days before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit entertained oral arguments in PHH Corp.’s battle against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for allegedly overstepping i...