On October 7, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published guidance in the form of fourteen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Section 8 topics. The FAQs provide an overview of the provisions of RESPA Section 8 and respective Regulation X sections, and address the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in CFPB inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs).
In addition, the CFPB determined that Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements, does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X and therefore is rescinding it. The CFPB’s rescission of the Bulletin does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal. Whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including the details of how the MSA is structured and implemented.