Consumer Financial Services Alert - July 27, 2010 July 27, 2010
In This Issue

HUD Publishes Interpretive Rule Concerning Marketing Fees Paid by Home Warranty Companies to Real Estate Brokers and Agents

HUD published an interpretive rule concerning whether transaction-based marketing fees paid by home warranty companies to real estate brokers and agents violates the anti-kickback provisions of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. In the rule, HUD identifies certain arrangements that may indicate such payments are unlawful under RESPA. If the compensation that a real estate broker or agent receives from a home warranty company is contingent on an exclusive arrangement to provide services only to the home warranty company, HUD suggests that this compensation may be a prohibited referral fee. Also, if the home warranty company's payments to the real estate broker or agent are based on, or adjusted according to, the number of home warranties that are purchased as a result of the broker’s or agent’s referrals, this, too, may indicate a violation of RESPA. HUD, however, acknowledges that if payments are made for compensable services and the payments are reasonably related to the value of the services, the arrangement does not violate RESPA. The rule also clarifies HUD’s method of determining whether services are “actually performed” by the real estate broker or agent and whether the compensation is “reasonably related” to the value of the service provided. Click here for the rule.

President Signs Financial Regulatory Reform Into Law

President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Two titles in particular, Title X, which creates the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and Title XIV, which implements the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, will have the most impact on consumer financial services providers. You will receive a summary of the new law later tonight in a special Financial Services Alert.

FDIC Deposit Insurance Permanently Increased to $250,000

The enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act permanently increases to $250,000 the standard maximum deposit insurance amount insured by the FDIC per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category. Click here for a copy of the related Financial Institution Letter.