The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently filed complaints in the Southern District of Florida against Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, Radian Guaranty Inc., and United Guaranty Corporation alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) by engaging in the practice of paying kickbacks to captive reinsurance affiliates of mortgage lenders in exchange for referrals. All four mortgage insurers have agreed to consent orders, which inter alia (1) prohibit them from entering into any new captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements for a period of ten years, regardless of whether the arrangement includes any payments that might be interpreted as kickbacks, (2) prohibit them from accessing funds held in trust related to existing reinsurance arrangements other than for the reimbursement of reinsurance claims, (3) impose a civil penalty ranging from $2.6 to $4.5 million each, and (4) require them to submit to compliance monitoring and reporting to the CFPB. The fact that these settlements prohibit any captive reinsurance agreements for ten years, whether or not a “kickback” payment was involved, seems to overreach the allegations of the Complaints. See, e.g., CFPB v. Radian Guaranty Inc., Case No. 13-21188 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 9, 2013) (Order granting motion to approve consent judgment and Complaint).

This post written by Abigail Kortz.

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