The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fined two mortgage lenders and two real estate brokerages for what the federal agency says was an “illegal kickback scheme” in which one of the lenders allegedly paid for mortgage business referrals, in violation of federal law.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered two brokerages and two lenders to pay nearly $4 million total for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
- RESPA prohibits both paying for and receiving payment for mortgage business referrals.
- Re/Max Gold Coast allegedly required buyers to prequalify with Prospect in order for their offers to be considered by home sellers -- even if they had already prequalified with another lender.
- KW Mid-Willamette allegedly gave its agents bonuses for referring consumers to Prospect.
- The CFPB indicated that more than 100 real estate brokers had agreements with Prospect to obtain illegal payments for referrals. Whether the agency plans to fine any other brokers is unknown.