The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today announced that 1st Alliance Lending, LLC, a mortgage lender, was assessed a civil monetary penalty of $83,000, arising from illegally splitting real estate settlement fees.
In Yes, the CFPB is Serious About Self-Reporting!, I commented last August that the bureau is encouraging regulated entities to self-report, even if unsure whether their conduct violates law. Previously, self-reporting by US Bank had led the CFPB to forgo imposing a civil money penalty against that institution.
While today’s announcement includes a civil monetary penalty, it is small compared to the tens of millions in penalties imposed by the bureau in prior enforcement actions. It also suggests that the CFPB was sincere when it suggested last August that self-reporting would allow for “a dialog” and engagement on what the appropriate result would be.
A copy of the consent order between the bureau and the mortgage lender is available here.
Update – 2/25/2014: You can read 1st Alliance Lending LLC’s press release here. According to the company’s press release, their self-reporting occurred before the CFPB issued Bulletin 2013-06 titled “Responsible Business Conduct: Self-Policing, Self-Reporting, Remediation and Cooperation.”