California Supreme Court Inflames Broker Loyalty Problems

tugofwarThe last 30 years have ushered in a significant increase in brokers’ dual agency, in which a real estate agent is the agent of both the seller and the buyer. Despite that seeming industry familiarity, unanticipated difficulties can still arise, as a recent decision by the California Supreme Court illustrates. Continue Reading

Fannie Mae Finds Itself in Cross-Hairs of Class Action

FannieMaeIn a recent national class action, hundreds of home-mortgage borrowers have accused the Federal National Mortgage Association of unlawfully rigging their interest rates. The lawsuit offers a glimpse into the business practices and mindset of one of the country’s largest government sponsored enterprises. Continue Reading

CFPB Obscures Already Vague Standards for Vendor Oversight

CFPB LogoFor those members of the real estate industry who hoped that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would clarify its expectations of lender liability and vendor management, the bureau’s recent bulletin seemed like a welcome relief. That is, until you actually read it–at which point, disappointment quickly sets in. Continue Reading

CFPB Warns About Wells-Fargo Type Incentive Schemes

horseLast Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tried to shed light on employee-incentive plans like the one that recently pummeled Wells Fargo Bank. The extent to which the CFPB’s guidance will help members of the real estate industry is unclear. Nonetheless, it does offer a few useful tips. Continue Reading

Initial Steps for Responding to a Civil Investigative Demand from the CFPB

CFPB LogoWhether the Dodd-Frank Act survives the Trump administration remains to be seen. But unless and until that law is revoked, real estate businesses are subject to potentially onerous investigative demands from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Here is what you should do if that happens. Continue Reading

Lender Misses Golden Opportunity to Assert Key RESPA Defenses

Genuine Title LogoThe infamous marketing arrangement run by Genuine Title, LLC, a now-defunct title company from Maryland, has ended up where we all expected: in a certified class action. All the lender defendants except one settled the lawsuits against them. The lone holdout, West Town Bank & Trust, ignored a few critical defenses and learned its lesson the hard way. Continue Reading