Are RatePlug’s Property Flyers RESPA Compliant?

RatePlug has assembled a list of questions we receive about property listing flyers and RESPA compliance. RESPA stands for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

QUESTION:  A homeowner’s insurance company gives a real estate broker marketing materials, such as desk calendars, pens, and notepads, all of which promote the homeowner’s insurance company’s name. Is this a violation of Section 8 of RESPA?

ANSWER:  No, this appears to comply with RESPA. RESPA regulations provide an exception to Section 8 for normal promotional and educational activities that are not conditioned on the referral of business and that do not defray expenses that otherwise would be incurred by persons in a position to refer settlement service business.

QUESTION:  Can real estate professionals distribute to prospective buyers property flyers containing current loan rate information branded by the mortgage lender?

ANSWER:  Yes, the flyers comply with RESPA. The providing of current rate information is consistent with the real estate professional’s responsibility to provide information to his or her client about the current real estate market and no particular benefit flows to the mortgage lender. However, the real estate professional may not accept from lenders flyers which also promote the listed property, since that would result in the lender bearing a portion of the real estate professional’s advertising expenses.  Also note that the MAP Rule would apply to the providing of this information.  

Is RatePlug a Compliant Real Estate Co-Marketing Program?

RatePlug is the leading real estate agent co-marketing and mortgage marketing platform. It is the only MLS integrated technology co-marketing platform that connects agents, home buyers, and loan originators. Because the technology provides realtors and their connected mortgage lenders with technology that empowers home buying, RatePlug creates and maintains the connection necessary for LOs to position themselves above the average originator in the market.

With RatePlug’s co-marketing platform, lenders can help their best agents with co-marketing programs and closings, showcasing their rates on their open house flyers directly on the MLS—and in doing so, remain fully compliant. RatePlug even includes a compliant property flyer system for even more agent support.

RatePlug stores all mortgage-related communications for 10 years past the date that the communication was made available to the consumer, above the minimum regulatory requirement.

RatePlug also has enlisted the services of K&L Gates and Mayer Brown, the nation’s leading compliance experts, to validate RatePlug’s adherence to all regulatory guidelines and requirements.

RatePlug’s co-marketing technology continues to grow its market footprint across the Country, supporting over 700,000 agents in over 70 of the largest MLS organizations. Our list of participating banks, credit unions and lending companies now exceeds 800 entities. Each of these lending companies has evaluated and approved the RatePlug Program as compliant.