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Pennsylvania Financing and Credit Attorneys

Pennsylvania Financial Protection

Americans buy and lease cars, motorcycles, boats, trailers, RVs, televisions, electronic equipment, spas and other items. High-dollar purchases are often financed and frequently consumers are rudely awakened when they learn of all of the terms and conditions of these financing documents. Examples of added financing conditions include late penalties, elevated interest payments, accelerated payments, and many others. There are federal and in many instances state laws that protect consumers from unscrupulous finance companies that prey on consumers through provisions hidden in financing contracts.

If you have been the victim of these types of acts you should investigate your rights or remedies. Contact Eppsteiner Law, APC to consult an attorney and find out if you can recover money paid or stop your finance company’s wrongful acts. To discuss your circumstances and find out your rights,

  • Call our California or Colorado offices at 858-350-1500
  • Email us at solutions@eppsteiner.com
  • Click here to contact

Pennsylvania Mortgages, Related Purchases & RESPA Violations

Title Insurance | Documentation Fees | Filing Fees | Homeowners Insurance | PMI | Closing Costs

Sellers of real estate, including medium and large scale developers are prohibited from selecting or requiring a buyer to use a specific title insurer.

Most home purchases in the United States include the purchase of insurance that guarantees the purchaser they are receiving good title. A “Title Report” is usually provided to the buyer who is given an opportunity to see recorded documents that might affect the buyers’ ownership of the property and home.

Title insurance guarantees that the buyer’s title will only be subject to the items disclosed in the title report. Examples might include reference to a deed of trust or lien that assured the repayment from the seller, an easement for power lines or water lines, etc. If it turns out that there are claims against the property, or the property boundaries are not as was represented, a claim is made and the title company is obligated to remove the encumbrance that was not reported on the title report, or purchase the six (6) feet of land they insured was yours.

RESPA, a federal statute, makes it illegal for a real property seller to select the title insurance company or be paid any consideration from a title company. The prohibition exists to prevent unscrupulous home sellers from being paid a fee, a percentage or other consideration, e.g. a vacation, for referring business.

RESPA applies to title searches, title examinations, the provision of title certificates, title insurance, services rendered by an attorney, the preparation of documents, property surveys, the rendering of credit reports or appraisals, pest and fungus inspections, services rendered by a real estate agent or broker, the origination of a federally related mortgage loan, including, but not limited to, the taking of loan applications, loan processing and the underwriting and funding of loans, and the handling of the processing, and closing or settlement.

RESPA prohibits the payment or acceptance of “any fee, kickback, or thing of value” that is part of an agreement or understanding that business incidental to a real estate settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan will be referred to a particular company or person. Fee splitting in connection with these transactions is also prohibited.

The following is a list of conduct prohibited by RESPA:

  1. A title company’s payment of a part of the title insurance premium to someone who performs no service for the title company other than placing an application with the title company;
  2. A discount granted by a title company for the prompt payment of a title insurance premium or other charge for settlement services to a real estate agent, attorney, or lender as a rebate for the placement of business with the title company;
  3. Payment by an attorney of a portion of the attorney’s fees to another attorney, a lender, or a real estate agent that referred a prospective client to the attorney; and
  4. Payment of a “commission” by a title company to a corporation that is wholly owned by one or more lenders, although said company performs no substantial services for the title company;
  5. A seller requiring, as a condition of selling the property, that title insurance covering the property be purchased by the buyer from any particular title company;
  6. A lender’s imposition of a fee, in connection with a federally related mortgage loan, for the preparation of a uniform settlement statement, escrow account statement, or truth-in-lending statement.

Finance and Credit Protection in Pennsylvania

Despite notoriety and media attention to these illegal acts, many companies still continue to violate the RESPA statutes; some might say the violations are rampant. Major home building companies such as Pulte Homes Corp, Beazer Homes, KB Homes, to name a few, have all been sued by the U. S. government for taking illegal payments or making illegal referrals to companies they own wholly or in part. See the links below that will take you to newspaper articles from all over the United States regarding lawsuits, settlements and convictions of companies for violating the RESPA statute.

If you have purchased a home and in that process obtained a mortgage, had termite inspections, purchased title insurance and paid settlement costs, you may have paid illegal fees, been directed to use a title insurance company or had your RESPA rights otherwise violated. To discuss your personal situation and your rights to recover for illegal charges and referrals:

  • Call our California or Colorado law firm at 858-350-1500
  • Email us at solutions@eppsteiner.com
  • Click here to contact

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