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Q: In addition to civil penalties, are there criminal penalties for a violation of section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA")?
A: Yes. In short, section 8 of RESPA prohibits anyone from giving or receiving anything of value in exchange for business referrals of settlement services involving a federally related mortgage loan. Section 8 also prohibits fee splitting (when an individual gives or receives any part of a fee received for the rendering of settlement services to another individual which exceeds the fair market value of the services rendered by the recipient).
Penalties for violating section 8 of RESPA include up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to one (1) year in prison.
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