Most prospective home buyers begin their search on the internet, probably landing on Zillow.com at some point. That website gives possible values—called “Zestimates”—for nearly all houses in the country. Problems can arise if a property’s listing price and the corresponding Zestimate differ by a lot. Can a seller sue Zillow in that situation? A federal...
Many real estate businesses accused of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act have invoked the statute’s exemption for “services actually performed.” But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has long rejected those efforts, reading the exemption as narrowly as possible. The bureau’s hardballing continued last week, when it penalized an Indiana title company for its...
CFPB Slammed with Dismissal Sanctions In the bare-knuckle litigation the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is known for, defendants often try to learn the bases for the bureau’s allegations against them. Normally they get no meaningful answers. But a federal court in Georgia recently gave several defendants something valuable: dismissal of the CFPB’s claims against them. In the case, CFPB v....
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s prolonged scrutiny of internet giant Zillow might soon end. Zillow, in its recent quarterly earnings report, revealed that the CPFB has completed its investigation and is talking possible settlement. That outcome would be a boon for both sides. The CFPB’s interest in Zillow dates back to 2015, when the bureau...
The real estate industry, being rooted in practices developed over generations, is slow to change. In today’s business climate, inflexibility can prove disastrous. But, last month, the South Carolina Supreme Court moved its real estate industry toward modernity by endorsing a national lender’s internet-refinancing process, which the court found satisfies the state’s existing requirements for attorney involvement. Different...
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suffered a stinging defeat when a federal judge dismissed the bureau’s long-standing lawsuit against a Kentucky law firm. The battle is all but certain to continue on appeal, which will raise the stakes of this already-crucial case. In the lawsuit, the CFPB accuses Borders & Borders, a family-owned...