1. Can a lender pay a fee to a real estate broker for referring buyers to the lender?
Answer: No. The referral fee is prohibited under section 8 of RESPA.
2. Is it a RESPA violation for a real estate broker to rent office or desk space to a lender?
Answer: No. However, the rent the broker charges the lender must be the general market rate for the office space leased. Any amount charged in excess of the market rate could be viewed as a means to disquise referral payments. Rent cannot be based on the number or value of business generated from the location.