Many real estate businesses accused of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act have invoked the statute’s exemptions for “services actually performed.” But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has long rejected those efforts, reading the exemptions as narrowly as possible. The bureau’s hardballing continued last week, when it penalized an Indiana title company for its shared ownership interests with an affiliated title insurer. Continue Reading CFPB Continues Its War Against RESPA Safe-Harbors

The damage caused by Genuine Title, LLC, a now-defunct title company from Maryland, continues unabated. A federal court in Ohio recently certified a class action against the Ohio-based Emery Federal Credit Union for that company’s alleged participation in a kickback scheme with Genuine Title. The class-certification decision is so broad in its reasoning that all real estate business should be concerned. Continue Reading Fallout from Genuine Title Mars Ohio Credit Union

Like it said it would do, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week issued a final rule that would ban contractual arbitration clauses that prohibit class actions. The rule, if it becomes law, would affect most consumer financial contracts, including some in the real estate industry. Continue Reading CFPB Arbitration Rule Selectively Targets Real Estate Professionals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not only brings enforcement actions against companies it believes broke the law. It also supervises and examines the business operations of entities that are not suspected of illegal activity. If your operation gets hit with a CFPB exam, there is one thing you must do to prepare: review the bureau’s Supervision and Examination Manual. Continue Reading Ace Your CFPB Examination With This Handy Study Guide