Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Real Estate Brokerage Settles RESPA Violation Charges

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Real Estate Brokerage Settles RESPA Violation Charges

Article excerpt

A HAWAII-BASED REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE will pay HUD nearly $50,000 to settle complaints that the firm violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Prudential Locations LLC, Honolulu, agreed to pay $48,000 to resolve HUD's complaint that the real estate brokerage leased a luxury car, offered vacations and provided other gifts to reward sales agents who referred business to an affiliated mortgage company in violation of RESPA's anti-kickback and unearned-fee provisions.

Section 8 of RESPA prohibits a person from giving or accepting anything of value in exchange for the referral of settlement-service business. It also prohibits a person from giving or accepting any part of a charge for services that are not performed.

Prudential is affiliated with and has a financial interest in Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Hawaii LLC, Honolulu. HUD said its investigation found that Prudential hosted a "First Annual Wells Fargo Friends Party" and invited only those sales agents who referred more than $1 million in business to Wells Fargo. …

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