One of the popular buzzwords these days is disruption. For example, Zillow came along and, through the aggressive marketing of leads, disrupted the ways in which many mortgages were originated. According to some reports, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now disrupting Zillow’s tactics. Lead purchasers can protect themselves in several ways. Continue Reading Federal Regulators Reported to Have Started Crackdown on Zillow Leads

The impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent crackdown on Prospect Mortgage, LLC, continues to reverberate throughout the real estate industry. Through that crackdown the bureau offers clues about how it intends to regulate in a Trump administration—and it’s not pretty. Continue Reading CFPB Enforcement Actions Presage Bureau’s Post-Obama Approach

The 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 California Supreme Court Inflames Broker Loyalty Problems

Last week, the Colorado Insurance Commissioner did directly what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been doing indirectly for over two years: he outlawed marketing services agreements (MSAs). Very narrow opportunities for collaborative marketing remain; other states may follow suit. Continue Reading Colorado Slams Door on MSAs

In many lawsuits, the defendant’s only significant asset is its insurance policy, which may or may not cover a resulting judgment. That can lead to collusion in which the plaintiff and the defendant agree to a settlement that is collectible only against insurance proceeds. What could possibly go wrong, you ask? Plenty. Continue Reading Secret Dealings Undermine Agreement to Pursue Title Company’s Insurer

I can’t recall any decision in which a judge openly compared his job to that of a tarot card reader, but a federal jurist in Florida recently did exactly that—in the context of a class action over lender-placed insurance (LPI). The prediction at hand was whether the regional appellate tribunal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, would accept or reject the filed-rate doctrine as a defense to LPI lawsuits. Continue Reading Rulings on Lender-Placed Insurance Shift in Industry’s Favor

For now, individual arbitration is still a viable option for avoiding at least some class actions. But what do you do when the transaction for the would-be class representative is so old that you no longer have a copy of the arbitration agreement? A recent decision from a federal appellate court gives businesses guidance about proving the existence of now-discarded arbitration contracts. Continue Reading Go Extra Mile to Prove Old, Lost Arbitration Agreements

The most critical part of any class-action defense is often the narrative. That is because a judge who believes that consumers have been cheated will often permit a class action to go forward, even if the case is otherwise questionable. Nowhere is that tendency more evident than in the wave of lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) lawsuits currently sweeping the country. Continue Reading Companies Face Difficult Narrative with Lender-Placed Insurance