Since last November, when Mick Mulvaney became acting director of the agency formerly known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he’s steered it away from many of the practices his predecessor had embraced. Questions have arisen about how long Mulvaney can serve in that capacity, which is supposed to be temporary. The answer: until 2025, at the latest.
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For the past five years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has accused a Kentucky law firm, Borders & Borders, of paying illegal kickbacks. Last week, the judge presiding over the lawsuit threw out the CFPB’s case—for a second time—on grounds different than before. The ruling could be a boon for affiliated business arrangements.
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Members of the real estate industry have been celebrating the most recent federal-court ruling involving PHH Corporation. That decision seems to expand a RESPA safe harbor for services actually performed. But that ruling, while appearing to favor the industry, could cause as many problems as it solves.
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This past week, the real estate industry was rocked again by the latest development in the epic court battle between PHH Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many observers predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the matter. When I consulted my Magic Eight Ball about that, it responded, “Very Doubtful.”
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Last week, Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, emailed his staff and explained his vision for the agency. His plan amounts to this: we’ll vigorously penalize those who cross a bright red line of legality—but leave everyone else alone.
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Internet giant Zillow.com revealed in an earnings call last week that the company has yet to resolve its on-going dispute with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about its co-marketing program. The slow pace of negotiations suggests that Zillow believes the CFPB lacks the means to credibly threaten the company.
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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.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s prolonged scrutiny of internet giant Zillow might soon end. Zillow, in its recent quarterly earnings report, revealed that the CPFB has completed its investigation and is talking possible settlement. That outcome would be a boon for both sides.
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