A Texas homebuilder will surrender more than $100,000 to the Consumer Finance Protection Agency under a consent order filed on Friday.  Paul Taylor, a principal of Paul Taylor Homes Unlimited and Paul Taylor Corporation was accused of receiving kickbacks for referring homebuyers to Benchmark Bank and to Willow Bend Mortgage Company for their mortgages.  Under the agreement Taylor is also prohibited from engaging in future real estate settlement services including mortgage origination.   

Under the consent order, under which the respondents neither accepted nor denied the CFPB findings, the Bureau contends that Taylor and Benchmark jointly created and owned Stratford Mortgage Services and Willow Bend and Taylor created PTH Mortgage Company.  Both companies, which the CFPB contends were shams, operated as mortgage originators.   

Taylor's homebuilding company referred mortgage business to the two companies he jointly owned with the banks.  CFPB says that neither company maintained employees or office space and originations were done in bank offices and by bank employees.  Taylor however was paid for the referrals through profit distributions and as a payment through a "service agreement."   CFPB called the transactions violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)   

 "Kickbacks harm consumers by hampering fair market competition and by unnecessarily increasing the costs of getting a mortgage," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "The CFPB will continue to take action against schemes designed to let service providers profit through unscrupulous and illegal business practices."

Taylor has agreed to pay $118,194.20, the full amount of money he received since early 2010 from the kickback schemes.  The payment will be deposited in the United States Treasury.  Benchmark Bank was separately fined for its role by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which also referred the Taylor matter to the CFPB.