Do Zillow leads to lenders violate RESPA? CFPB mum

  • The CFPB's silence on Zillow leads to lenders has sparked agent uncertainty about what constitutes a potential violation of a federal anti-kickback law.

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Are the agents and lenders who participate in Zillow's lender co-marketing program violating a federal anti-kickback law? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not issued any guidance in regards to whether participating in Zillow's lender co-marketing program violates RESPA, which has promoted uncertainty among agents and lenders across the country. And recent videos from real estate video blogger Brian Stevens have reignited this years-long, ongoing debate. In a video posted March 8 on his MortgageShots blog, Stevens asserted that examiners from the CFPB had been asking loan officers if they were buying Zillow leads. According to Stevens, the message was that if so, they were violating Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). This is reportedly because "Zillow is taking the information from the customer and then directing that lead to a mortgage company, which is an endorsement, which is a referral, which makes it non-compliant," Steven...