WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Sept. 27 that it took action against Meridian Title Corporation, a real estate settlement services company, for allegations of steering consumers to an affiliated business.
Several Meridian executives allegedly owned part of a title insurer the company marketed to consumers. Meridian steered consumers to the title insurer without disclosing the business affiliation. Additionally, Meridian purportedly received referrals for title insurance from the insurer. Real estate transactions that involve a mortgage loan often require title insurance.
“Meridian Title illegally steered consumers into purchasing a product from an affiliated company to add to its bottom line,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We’re ordering it to halt this practice and pay up to $1.25 million to consumers who were harmed.”
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provides the CFPB with authority to enforce penalties on companies or individuals who violate consumer financial laws. In this case, the CFPB ordered Meridian to pay restitution of up to $1.25 million to allegedly harmed consumers. Meridian has also been banned from violating the consumer protection laws in the future.