Skip to main content

HUD and FNF Settle RESPA Kick-Back Charges to the Tune of $4.5 Million

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jul 11, 2011
Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF) has announced the acquisition of the title insurance company Stewart Information Services Corporation for $1.2 billion

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced an agreement with Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF) to settle allegations the title company paid real estate brokers and other settlement service providers improper kickbacks or referral fees in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). HUD claimed FNF and its affiliates and subsidiaries engaged in a widespread and years-long campaign to pay real estate brokers kickbacks for the referral of real estate settlement services, including home warranties and title insurance. FNF agreed to cease this practice and pay HUD $4.5 million to resolve the complaint. “RESPA is very clear that paying fees or providing anything of value for the simple act of referring business is a violation of law,” said Acting FHA Commissioner Robert Ryan. “This agreement should be a signal to others that these business practices won’t be tolerated.” HUD alleges that Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF), through its subsidiaries, paid fees for the referral of settlement service business in violation of Section 8 of RESPA. To facilitate these payments, real estate brokerages entered into “Application Service Provider Agreements” which provided the real estate brokerages access to TransactionPoint, a web-based platform that automates the real estate transaction from listing to closing. This online system also allows the brokers to select real estate settlement providers for a particular real estate transaction. The real estate brokerages, in turn, entered into Sub-License Agreements with subsidiaries of FNF to enable FNF’s subsidiaries to be listed in TransactionPoint as a provider of settlement services. As part of the Sub-Licensee Agreement, HUD alleges that FNF’s subsidiaries paid the real estate brokerages a fee for each referral of real estate settlement services. RESPA was enacted in 1974 to provide consumers advance disclosures of settlement charges and to prohibit illegal kickbacks and excessive fees in the homebuying process. Section 8 of RESPA prohibits a person from giving or accepting anything of value in exchange for the referral of settlement service business.
Published
Jul 11, 2011
'A Long Road To Normal'

Nominated again to lead The Fed, Powell tells Senate committee to expect three rate hikes, but 'if we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will.'

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 11, 2022
CFPB: Complaint Response Worsens At Big 3 Credit Bureaus

Report claims Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion routinely failed to fully respond to consumers with errors.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 10, 2022
The Fed Names Chairs, Deputy Chairs For 12 Reserve Banks

In recent years, the Federal Reserve System has worked to increase the overall diversity of the Reserve Bank and branch boards of directors and continues to build on those efforts.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 06, 2022
The Fed: Rate Hike Likely Coming in June

Federal Open Market Committee's December minutes reveal discussion of first hike in federal funds rate in 2Q of 2022, as well as of ending asset purchases by March.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 05, 2022
AARMR No Protection For Savanah Scares

Conference provides opportunity for regulators to interact, discuss common topics

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022
McCargo Sworn In As Ginnie Mae President

Former HUD official becomes the first female to lead the Government National Mortgage Association.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022