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Carter v. Welles-Bowen Realty, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
736 F.3d 722 (6th Cir. 2013)


The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. § 2607(a), permitted title-services companies to pay certain referral fees within the real-estate-services industry only if three safe-harbor conditions were satisfied. In a policy statement, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (plaintiff) added a fourth safe-harbor condition. Subsequently, real-estate agency Welles-Bowen Realty, Inc. (Welles-Bowen) (defendant) referred Erick Carter and other customers (customers) (plaintiffs) to an affiliated title-services company. The customers filed suit against Welles-Bowen in federal district court, arguing that Welles-Bowen had failed to satisfy the fourth safe-harbor condition. The district court ruled for Welles-Bowen. The customers appealed. HUD intervened, arguing that the policy statement was due Chevron deference as HUD’s reasonable interpretation of RESPA.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sutton, J.)

Concurrence (Sutton, J.)

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