How does RatePlug’s RESPA compliant co-marketing service work?

RatePlug has entered into agreements with various Multiple Listing Services. In these agreements, RatePlug licenses its software to the MLS. Each MLS can then sublicense RatePlug to the Realtor members (“Participating Realtors”).

Among other features, the RatePlug RESPA compliant co-marketing mortgage software permits each Participating Realtor to integrate, on an online, real time basis, mortgage product and payment information into each of the Participating real estate agent’s MLS property reports that are generated within the MLS platform and are emailed to the real estate agent’s clients. Participating real estate agent’s who choose to use the RatePlug RESPA compliant co-marketing mortgage software electronically inform RatePlug of their intent, and provide RatePlug with the names of Mortgage Originators that are interested in having their mortgage product information displayed in connection with the Participating Realtor’s property reports. The Mortgage Marketing Software may display information about one or more such Mortgage Originators to any of the Participating real estate agents who use the RESPA compliant co-marketing mortgage software and system.  There is no limit on the number of Mortgage Originators whose information may be displayed to a given agent.

Does the real estate agent pay for RatePlug and how does that impact RESPA compliance?

To access the MLS, each MLS member pays the MLS annual fees ranging from $500 to $1,000, in exchange for access to the MLS system and integrated technology. No MLS assesses a fee to any Participating Realtor who chooses to use the RESPA compliant mortgage marketing software; rather, the Software is part and parcel of the standard set of services the MLS provides to its members in return for the annual fee.

Among other things, to ensure RESPA compliance, RatePlug does not assess a fee to any MLS member which chooses to become a Participating Realtor. This is because we believe we are receiving appropriate value for the use of the Program from the MLS by virtue of the access the MLS provides RatePlug to the property listings, agent roster data, historical information, and members.  

Does the Multiple Listing Service pay for the RatePlug mortgage marketing software?

RatePlug does not assess any fee to the MLS for use of the mortgage marketing software. When we contract with an MLS, the MLS provides us access to all of the MLS’s property listings, agent roster data, historical information, and members.  As suggested above, the MLS networks view RatePlug’s mortgage marketing software as an integral part of the services and technology they provide their members, for which the Participating Realtors pay annual dues to the MLSs. The MLSs provide us access to the MLSs’ systems and Participating Realtors without charging us a fee. Both RatePlug and the MLS believe that the value of the access and information that RatePlug receives from the MLS is roughly equal to the value that RatePlug receives in terms of access to the MLS’s property listings, agent roster data, historical information, and members.

Does the Mortgage Originator pay for the RatePlug RESPA compliant mortgage marketing software?

RatePlug assesses each Mortgage Originator that participates in our Mortgage Marketing Program a fixed annual license fee that grants them a license to use the Software, among other things.  The amount of the annual fee will not vary based the number or volume of residential mortgage loans facilitated by the Software.  In consideration of the annual fee, Mortgage Originators gain the ability to easily and quickly communicate the Mortgage Originators’ mortgage products and rates to Participating Realtors and their home-buying clients.  The RatePlug RESPA compliant co-marketing mortgage software program also provides the Mortgage Originators with access to a reporting mechanism that permits them to view the number of Participating Realtors with which they are affiliated through the Program, the number of property listings on which their mortgage information is displayed, how many flyers they have created, and other system usage data.  

What customer information does RatePlug collect?

We do not collect ANY customer information. Our technology is connected to property reports the home buyer receives from their Agent, via the Agent’s multiple listing service.

What other compliance information should I understand?