In the first enforcement action since 2017 associated with the 1974 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued orders Thursday against Freedom Mortgage Corporation and Realty Connect USA Long Island for illegal kickbacks.

The CFPB found that Freedom Mortgage Corporation and Realty Connect USA Long Island were giving real estate agents and brokers incentives such as cash payments, free or discounted services, and other items of value, making them violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s kickback and unearned-fee prohibitions. They were accused of receiving kickbacks in return for referrals, so the CFPB issued orders against these two organizations, ordering them to pay restitution to consumers and a civil money penalty.

The Important Elements:
• CFPB issues orders against two organizations for illegal kickbacks
• First enforcement action associated with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in six years
• Organizations accused of providing incentives in return for referrals
• Orders requiring payment of restitution to consumers and civil penalty

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