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Financial Institution Letter

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

SUBJECT: Potential Violations of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has prepared the attached document to alert FDIC-supervised institutions of practices that may result in violations of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Violations of Section 8 carry criminal and civil penalties. Recent compliance examinations have uncovered violations of Section 8 of RESPA and the regulation that implements RESPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Regulation X.

Section 8 of RESPA generally prohibits:

  • The payment and receipt of a fee or thing of value in return for the referral of settlement service business for a federally related mortgage loan, and

  • Receipt or payment of any portion or splits of charges (including unearned fees) except for settlement services actually performed.

HUD is the final interpretive authority for RESPA and Regulation X. HUD has established a Web page, that addresses RESPA-related topics and includes guidance to lending institutions.

For further information, please contact the following HUD staff members:

  • Rebecca J. Holtz, Director RESPA/ILS Division (202-708-4560),
  • Kenneth A. Markison, Assistant General Counsel for GSE/RESPA (202-708-3137), or
  • Rodrigo Alba, Attorney (202-708-3137).

Questions about RESPA may also be directed to the appropriate FDIC Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs regional office or to:

  • Ken Baebel, Senior Review Examiner in the FDIC's Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs (202-942-3086),
  • Andrea Winkler, Counsel in the FDIC's Legal Division (202-898-3727), or
  • Susan VanDenToorn, Counsel in the Legal Division (202-898-8707).

Stephen M. Cross


Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institutions letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated: November 17, 1999