CFPB investigates Zillow’s Co-Marketing Program: What Agents Should Know

 

The CFPB’s recent action against Zillow speaks volumes about the mortgage industry’s regulatory atmosphere when it comes to advertising compliance. With costly fines and other serious penalties for marketing rule breakers, loan officers and their business partners can’t afford to ignore the signs of the times.

To help you navigate this arena with confidence, we have gathered the following information detailing the most common compliance blunders they encounter, with 3 ideas on how you can avoid potentially disastrous mistakes.

Always split payment, and show proof

All co-marketing material/expenses must be split based on pro-rata share, and be documented. This means if I pay for half of a co-marketing flier with you, the flier needs to show both of us, with an equal share of the marketing space. You also need to retain copies of checks, co-op forms, etc. when marketing with another person.

Get use to the verbiage

Unfortunately, mortgage compliance can take the fun and elegance out of marketing. We cannot boast about having the best rates or guarantee to close a loan within a set number of days. If your referral partner is engaged in these kinds of promises, it could be best to have a conversation with them, or if need be, steer clear of them altogether since this kind of rhetoric is inviting trouble.

Get use to the disclaimers

Our disclaimers are required by law. We know how ugly some of the long regulatory verbiages can be, or how picky marketing materials have to be to avoid triggering massive disclosures. However, as frustrating as these can be, there is no room for flexibility. The disclosures have to be there to protect everyone involved. If we don’t include these on our advertisements, it will be a serious reason for concern.

If you have questions about our industry, please let us know. We’d be happy to assist you in any way we can! The Polder Group at Summit Funding

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