Consumer Finance Insights
February 10, 2015

CFPB Enters Consent Order with Mortgage Lender for Illegal Kickbacks

On February 10, 2015, the CFPB announced that it had entered a consent order with a Maryland-based nonbank mortgage lender to resolve allegations that the lender had engaged in deceptive advertising and an illegal kickback scheme. The CFPB alleged that the lender advertised VA mortgage products to veterans, claiming that it was the exclusive lender of, and had been endorsed by, a veteran service organization for its high quality and excellence, when in fact the lender had paid lead generation fees to the organization and paid a separate a licensing fee to a broker company in connection with the arrangement. The CFPB contended the failure to disclose the arrangement was a deceptive act and constitute an illegal kickback scheme for customer referrals in violation of RESPA. As relief, the lender agreed to the cessation of all deceptive marketing and endorsement practices, the cessation of all kickbacks, and the payment of $2 million in civil penalties.