Zillow Group and CFPB head into settlement talks

Legal action could have a 'material impact' on the company's future operations
  • Settlement talks between Zillow Group and the CFPB may result in changes to the company's agent and lender co-marketing program or lead to legal action against the company.

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A federal investigation of Zillow Group's co-marketing program for potential anti-kickback violations appears to be over, but that doesn't mean the real estate giant is out of hot water. Kathleen Philips The company expects to start settlement discussions with the investigating agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), within the next two weeks, Zillow Group Chief Financial Officer, Kathleen Philips, told investors during its second-quarter earnings call Tuesday. In May, the company announced that for the past two years, the CFPB has been investigating its co-marketing program for compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The program, launched in June 2013, allows “Premier Agents” who pay for advertising on Zillow Group’s apps and websites to invite lenders to share marketing costs by paying Zillow Group to appear as “Premier Lenders” in advertising alongside the agent. RESPA experts say portal co-marketing programs s...