CFPB Issues RESPA FAQs, Rescinds Compliance Bulletin on MSAs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today released a set of frequently asked questions that provide an overview of the provisions included in Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the respective anti-referral fee sections in Regulation X. The FAQs address the applications of these provisions to gifts and promotional activities and to marketing services agreements.

The CFPB also rescinded a 2015 compliance bulletin on RESPA compliance and MSAs, noting that it “does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X.” However, the CFPB noted that the recission of the bulletin “does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal. Whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including the details of how the MSA is structured and implemented. MSAs remain subject to scrutiny, and we remain committed to vigorous enforcement of RESPA Section 8.”