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Mtg Loans Follow Same Regs as Checking/Gift Card?

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Question: 
Do mortgage loans follow the same rules/regulations as checking accounts in regards to offering a cash or gift card when an account is opened. For example, could we say Book a mortgage with us before 12/31/14 and receive a $100 Home Depot gift card? Does this violate anything, and if not, what kind of disclosures would have to be paired with such a statement?
Answer: 

It doesn't violate anything that I'm aware of. Some points to be careful about with this:
1.If you are advertising this, you'll need to make sure your advertisement doesn't mislead. Does the advertisement explain all material requirements that must be met to receive the gift card?
2.Are you consistent in how you award the card as relates to protected classes (fair lending issue)? Even if applied consistently, might the benefit create a disparate impact?
3.1099 reporting - while $100 is below the 1099-MISC threshold of $600, you'll need to keep in mind if someone receives this card and also receives other miscellaneous income from the bank during the year that aggregates to more than $600, reporting could be triggered.

First published on 09/08/2014

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