January 17, 2014

CFPB fines firm for mortgage kickbacks

The CFPB has ordered St. Louis-based Fidelity Mortgage Corporation, its former owner and current president to pay $81,076 in penalties for paying illegal kickbacks to a bank for referrals of potential borrowers.

The penalties are being imposed under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. RESPA prohibits giving and receiving kickbacks for referrals of settlement-service business involving federally related mortgages.

Fidelity is a non-depository mortgage lender. CFPB said the firm entered into an agreement that provided the bank would refer potential borrowers to Fidelity in exchange for kickbacks. Kickbacks "were disguised as inflated lease payments for renting office space" in the bank, the bureau said.