Have you heard about this story? Back in February the CFPB began investigating Zillow’s co-marketing program. This allows real estate agents (Zillow calls them Premier Agents or more simply put the ones that pay) to advertise together with their preferred lender. Wait, what? Yea… realtors and lenders are advertising side by side on Zillow. Isn’t that steering? What do you think?
According to the allegations Zillow is possibly violating Section 8 of RESPA and Section 1036 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The CFPB’s concern is that lenders are paying Zillow to advertise alongside the real estate agent. Personally, I feel like there is a lot of gray area here and even though there is no money involved could a “business relationship” be seen as a “thing of value” per the regulation? To me it’s a very fine line, but if the big bad CFPB gets their way… there could be an interesting situation unfolding in front of us.
Well, I’m back home in Pittsburgh and I can’t lie to you… it feels great. We’re the city of bridges and would you believe it… we actually have bridges?! Pennsylvania is called the “The Keystone State” and there is an actual reason for it! The nickname comes from us being the middle colony of the original 13 and holding key economic, social and political positions way back when. I mean we declared our independence in this state! New Jersey… maybe it’s time to take a look at your nickname.