Question: I recently had lunch with a real estate agent to talk about doing some co-marketing. We discussed the potential RESPA concerns and decided to not move forward at this time. At the end of lunch, the agent picked up the check. Did we violate RESPA’s Section 8?
Answer: Since the purpose of the lunch was to discuss co-marketing and not as payment for the referral of business, you’re likely okay. Section 8 restricts the payment of anything of value in exchange for the referral of a settlement service. So, if it looks like business is being referred and something of value (e.g. lunch) is being exchanged, a reviewer could infer from all of the circumstances that there is a kickback occurring.
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Kevin brings years of experience and a unique perspective on regulatory matters to our clients. A self-proclaimed geek and accredited CRCM, Kevin is also a recovering attorney with experience as in-house counsel for a large regional bank and one of the leading national title insurance providers. For reasons unknown, Kevin decided to leave the safety and serenity of his desk job to seek fortune and glory as a wandering adventurer. Like a bank compliance version of Kwai Chang Caine, The Man with No Name or Don Quixote, he now travels the land seeking to help those in need and righting compliance wrongs, wherever he may find them.
Kevin lives in Sioux Falls with his two children, who are surprisingly normal after having endured their father’s vivid imagination for their entire lives. He won’t admit to having any hobbies, because apparently “Regulations never sleep.” (While he does say this in his Batman voice, we’re pretty sure he’s joking.) From the looks of his Facebook page, he likes the outdoors and spending time with his large extended family (who seem like relatively normal people).