Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have agreed to pay a combined $35.7 million in penalties and redress over their roles in an alleged kickback scheme with a Maryland title company. In an announcement on Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said loan officers at the two banks accepted cash, marketing materials, and consumer information in exchange for business referrals to Genuine Total, a now-defunct title firm. Kickback schemes are barred under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
For its part, Wells Fargo would be required to pay $10.8 million in redress and $24 million in civil penalties under the proposed consent order. JPMorgan would pay approximately $300,000 in redress and $600,000 in penalties for its smaller role. The bureau also filed administrative consent orders against the banks prohibiting future violations.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that its House Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent month-over-month in November. From November 2013 through the latest index, FHFA reported home prices gained 5.3 percent, down from a 7.5 percent increase a year ago. As of the latest update, the FHFA says its index remains 4 and a half percent below its peak from April 2007 and is roughly the same as its October 2005 level.