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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 29, 2015

Individual RESPA settlements follow larger payments by nationwide banks

By Richard A. Roth, J.D.

A title company, its president, its marketing manager, and three loan officers have agreed to settle charges that they violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act by engaging in a loan referral and kickback scheme, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Maryland Attorney General. The individuals will be banned from the mortgage industry for terms ranging from two to five years and pay more than $650,000 in total consumer redress and civil penalties. In January, the CFPB settled charges arising from the same scheme that cost JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo a total of more than $35 million (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Jan. 22, 2015).

One other loan officer continues to contest the claims by the bureau and AG.

Alleged scheme. According to the agencies’ complaint, Genuine Title and its officers operated a scheme that paid the loan officers in exchange for settlement service business referrals. The payments took two forms: marketing services and cash payments to companies owned and controlled by the loan officers. Between 2009 and 2013, the loan officers indirectly received cash payments that totaled as much as $500,000, the agencies claim. Genuine Title closed in 2014.

Consent orders. Neither Genuine Title nor any of the individuals admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreements. The proposed consent orders, which require court approval, apply to:

Companies: All County Settlements, LLC; BTS Management and Consulting, LLC; Carroll Abstracts, Inc.; Genuine Title, LLC; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; MARC, LLC; Mortgage Services, LLC; R&R Marketing Group, LLC; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

MainStory: TopStory CFPB EnforcementActions Mortgages RESPA

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