Question & Answer
Question: Our bank provides free office space to the local multiple listing service. We have no ownership relationship with the service. Is this a problem under RESPA?
Answer: Yes, it very well could be. The definition of settlement services is broad, and includes rendering of services by a real estate agent or broker. RESPA also applies to the referral of any business related to a real estate settlement. However, under RESPA, referrals with no other action have $0 value. Your bank is providing value in the form of free space. This could be construed as an illegal payment for referrals the multiple listing service could make to the bank.
Copyright © 1996 Compliance Action. Originally appeared in Compliance Action, Vol. 1, No. 15, 10/96
First published on 10/01/1996