May 30, 2012
On May 24, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc. This case involves a section of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act stating that “[n]o person shall give and no person shall accept any portion, split, or percentage of any charge made or received for the rendering of a real estate settlement service in connection with a transaction involving a federally related mortgage loan other than for services actually performed.” The question was whether this prohibition extends to “unearned, undivided” fees that lenders sometimes charge to borrowers at the closing of mortgage transactions.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held unanimously that, for a plaintiff to establish a violation of the prohibition in question, he or she must demonstrate that the charges for settlement services were divided between two or more persons.
To discuss the case, we have Andrew Morriss, who is the D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene Angelich Jones Chairholder of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law.