Panelists break down recent RESPA activity, lessons

In its first “RESPA Super Session,” the Real Estate Services Providers Council (RESPRO) hosted industry panelists to discuss the potential outcomes of PHH Corp. v. CFPB (PHH), the implications of the Prospect Mortgage and Liberty Title enforcement actions, and other prominent compliance issues.

A packed audience faced Loretta Salzano, co-founder of Frazén & Salzano, P.C.; Brian Levy, of counsel to Katten & Temple, LLP; Phil Schulman, partner at Mayer Brown; Jay Varon and Jennifer Keas, partners at Foley & Lardner, LLP; and Derek Diaz, partner at Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP. RESPRO President and Executive Director Ken Trepeta moderated the session.

PHH Corp. v. CFPB

Trepeta kicked off the panel by asking Varon about the potential impacts of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ en banc rehearing regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) case against PHH Corp.

Varon noted that although most of the recent commentary concerned the constitutional issues, the largest impact for industry concerns the statutory interpretations of RESPA Section 8(c)(2) (the “for services rendered” exemption); RESPA’s statute of limitations; and the ability of the CFPB to bring administrative actions. Varon noted that when the D.C. Circuit requested briefs from the parties, it did not directly seek their views of these issues.

Varon stated that he does not think the full court will resolve the constitutionality question and that the court will likely affirm and adopt (in form or in substance) the panel rulings on Section 8(c)(2) and the statute of limitations

Diaz agreed  that he does not believe the D.C. Circuit would consider striking down the CFPB in its entirety as unconstitutional, as PHH Corp. is advocating.

“I don’t see that as being realistic at all,” Diaz said.

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