Legal Blog

Compensation and Compliance Matters – November 1, 2013

MSA’s and Joint Ventures Still on CFPB Radar The CFPB filed suit this week against a law firm that performed title work and operated joint ventures with certain real estate companies and mortgage brokers. The JV relationships, according to the complaint filed by the CFPB, were essentially sham arrangements. As evidence thereof the CFPB noted the companies were undercapitalized, and had no real employees (anyone affiliated with the companies had concurrent employment with the law firm). In addition, the JV companies did no outside advertising, had no business beyond that referred by the realtor/broker partners, and did not have separate email or office space from the law firm. Further, the substantive title work was in fact performed by the law firm, not by the joint ventures themselves. Essentially, the CFPB alleges these joint ventures were merely a series of shell companies aimed at sharing referral fees in violation of section 8 of RESPA. Read more on National Mortgage News.