But, you say, real estate intermediation and title company are both part of the joint venture or affiliated enterprise agreement – isn`t real estate brokerage really referring to its own joint venture? How can a company refer to itself and violate the RESPA? This issue was addressed in another consent order (In the Matter of: JRHBW Realty, Inc., doing business as RealtySouth; TitleSouth, LLC, File No. 2014-CFPB-0005), in which the CFPB imposed a fine of $500,000 (again within ten days of the date of the order) to RealtySouth, a real estate agent company, and TitleSouth, a securities company, $500,000 (again within ten days of the order being entered) because their related business agreement met RESPA`s specific requirements for such disclosure. While this approval decision had broadened the definition of «value» before the Lighthouse Title Consent Order and, therefore, prior to the GFPB, and therefore did not declare the trade agreement related to that date illegal, the CFPB found that RealtySouth was illegally transmitting settlement services to TitleSouth because of insufficient disclosure. So what`s so shocking about this verdict? RealtySouth and TitleSouth both belonged to the same company – they were subsidiaries of one company! For this reason, GFPb has set a precedent for the fact that a transfer of settlement services between or to related companies or joint venture shareholders constitutes a violation of RESPA, even if the companies are part of the same company. Compared to joint advertising between a lender and a broker (or other billing service provider), it becomes difficult to fully consider any small «value element» that may occur in a common advertisement. For example, printing and the cost of purchasing advertising space are part of the obvious costs of advertising. However, less obvious «valuables» in advertising costs could include things like design costs, delivery costs, advertising space (for example. B the space on the supplier table), the work and even the administrative costs associated with posting advertisements on social networks. HUD warned that if a party paid less than its good share for a brochure or advertisement, there could be a violation of Section 8 of RESPA, which contains anti-kickback provisions. If z.B. a mortgage lender defaults on a real estate agent`s marketing costs on a third-party real estate agent`s website for real estate service providers and the broker makes recommendations to the lender, it may appear that the lender pays the fees in exchange for a return of the credit transaction.
This could be considered an unlawful cause of the value provided in exchange for a section 8 violation of return. Finally, both parties must monitor the agreement to ensure that both parties are involved in the marketing plan, and it was not done solely to transfer money. If part of the contract is not really involved, then it tends to show that payment is an illegal attempt to transfer value. Whether it`s service marketing agreements («MSAs») or common marketing agreements under Zillow, billing service providers share costs and costs at any time, there is potential for RESPA-related investigations and execution. A single section 8 reSPA violation can result in a fine of up to 10,000 $US or imprisonment of up to one year. Representatives should seriously consider the costs and benefits of these plans in light of enhanced regulatory measures and, in particular, be cautious about common pricing structures. With this new definition of «value» around the «distribution of partnership profits,» it appears that a real estate agent is prohibited from referring the closures to a joint venture or related commercial agreement in which the brokerage company owns, and then from accepting in exchange a distribution of its partnership profits under the joint venture or related trade agreement. , directly or indirectly, for the aforementioned closures.