Real EstateRegulatory

CFPB drops case against Zillow

Bureau will not pursue enforcement action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is giving up its investigation into Zillow.

In its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the real estate giant disclosed that the CFPB will not pursue its case against the company for possible violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Zillow noted in its SEC filing that it received a letter from the CFPB that said the agency had completed its investigation into potential RESPA violation, will not be pursuing an enforcement action, and would not be requesting further documentation on the matter.

The letter officially puts an end to a three-year investigation into whether Zillow’s co-marketing program violates regulations against kickbacks by enabling lenders and agents to funnel business to each other.

Under the program, lenders pay Zillow to show their ads alongside a real estate agent. The practice could make it appear as though the lenders or agents were endorsing one another, potentially violating Section 8 of RESPA and Section 1036 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Zillow has insisted that its digital co-marketing program is fully compliant and simply designed to help consumers connect with the right service provider. It continued to successfully offer the program to advertisers during the investigation.

“We are pleased the CFPB has concluded its inquiry into our co-marketing program,” Zillow said in a statement to HousingWire.

“As we have said before, it is long-standing practice for agents and lenders to advertise together, and we are glad they can continue to do so through Zillow Group’s advertising platform,” Zillow continued. “Our mission has always been to arm consumers with information that helps them make smarter financial decisions, which this program does by providing consumers with an easy way to connect with agents and lenders.”

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