After Court Ruling, Secret Payoff Schemes May Raise Settlement Costs

Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2016–Harney, Kenneth R.

A decision last week by a federal appellate court is casting new light on practices in the real estate field that buyers and sellers often know little about: creative, under-the-table payoff schemes among realty brokers, mortgage lenders and title companies that can stifle market competition and raise settlement costs to consumers by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.