The latest economic and policy trends facing mortgage servicers

Join this webinar for an in-depth roundtable discussion on economic and policy trends impacting servicers as well as a look ahead at strategies servicers should employ in the next year.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.

Zillow analyst on whether home prices can keep climbing

Today’s episode of HousingWire Daily features an interview with Nicole Bachaud, as she discusses annual and monthly home price appreciation growth, rising inventory levels and rent prices.

Lenders, it’s time to consider offering non-QM products

The non-QM market is making a comeback following a pause in 2020. As lenders rush to implement, Angel Oak is helping them adopt these new lending products.

Politics & MoneyMortgageReal Estate

CFPB slaps Meridian Title with enforcement action over RESPA violation

Ordered to pay up to $1.25 million to consumers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports it fined real estate settlement services provider Meridian Title Corp. over violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, ordering the company to pay up to $1.25 million to harmed consumers.

The CFPB stated that the South Bend, Indiana-based company routinely steered consumers to Arsenal Insurance Corporation, a title insurer company owned in part by three of Meridian’s own executives.

As a title insurance agent, Meridian receives orders for title insurance policies from lenders and real estate agents, and in some cases directly from consumers, and assigns those orders to title insurance underwriters, the CFPB explained.

By steering consumers to Arsenal Insurance and not disclosing its relationship with the title insurer, Meridian Title illegally benefitted from the referrals for title insurance, the CFPB claims.

According to the release, Meridian was able to keep extra money beyond the commission it would normally have been entitled to collect, based on an understanding that Meridian would select Arsenal as underwriter.

Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, if Meridian receives anything of value pursuant to an agreement or understanding that business will be referred to an affiliated business, it must generally disclose its relationship to the consumer in question.

The CFPB uncovered in its investigation that Meridian failed to make the necessary disclosures to more than 7,000 consumers.

The regulator ordered Meridian Title to implement policies and procedures to ensure it properly discloses to consumers whenever it makes an applicable referral.

The company must also pay up to $1.25 million in redress to consumers who were referred to and purchased title insurance from Arsenal but did not receive appropriate disclosures.

“Meridian Title illegally steered consumers into purchasing a product from an affiliated company to add to its bottom line,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We’re ordering it to halt this practice and pay up to $1.25 million to consumers who were harmed.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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