12 U.S.C. § 2607 : US Code - Section 2607: Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees

    (a) Business referrals
      No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee,
    kickback, or thing of value pursuant to any agreement or
    understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to or a
    part of a real estate settlement service involving a federally
    related mortgage loan shall be referred to any person.
    (b) Splitting charges
      No person shall give and no person shall accept any portion,
    split, or percentage of any charge made or received for the
    rendering of a real estate settlement service in connection with a
    transaction involving a federally related mortgage loan other than
    for services actually performed.
    (c) Fees, salaries, compensation, or other payments
      Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting (1) the
    payment of a fee (A) to attorneys at law for services actually
    rendered or (B) by a title company to its duly appointed agent for
    services actually performed in the issuance of a policy of title
    insurance or (C) by a lender to its duly appointed agent for
    services actually performed in the making of a loan, (2) the
    payment to any person of a bona fide salary or compensation or
    other payment for goods or facilities actually furnished or for
    services actually performed, (3) payments pursuant to cooperative
    brokerage and referral arrangements or agreements between real
    estate agents and brokers, (4) affiliated business arrangements so
    long as (A) a disclosure is made of the existence of such an
    arrangement to the person being referred and, in connection with
    such referral, such person is provided a written estimate of the
    charge or range of charges generally made by the provider to which
    the person is referred (i) in the case of a face-to-face referral
    or a referral made in writing or by electronic media, at or before
    the time of the referral (and compliance with this requirement in
    such case may be evidenced by a notation in a written, electronic,
    or similar system of records maintained in the regular course of
    business); (ii) in the case of a referral made by telephone, within
    3 business days after the referral by telephone,(!1) (and in such
    case an abbreviated verbal disclosure of the existence of the
    arrangement and the fact that a written disclosure will be provided
    within 3 business days shall be made to the person being referred
    during the telephone referral); or (iii) in the case of a referral
    by a lender (including a referral by a lender to an affiliated
    lender), at the time the estimates required under section 2604(c)
    of this title are provided (notwithstanding clause (i) or (ii));
    and any required written receipt of such disclosure (without regard
    to the manner of the disclosure under clause (i), (ii), or (iii))
    may be obtained at the closing or settlement (except that a person
    making a face-to-face referral who provides the written disclosure
    at or before the time of the referral shall attempt to obtain any
    required written receipt of such disclosure at such time and if the
    person being referred chooses not to acknowledge the receipt of the
    disclosure at that time, that fact shall be noted in the written,
    electronic, or similar system of records maintained in the regular
    course of business by the person making the referral), (B) such
    person is not required to use any particular provider of settlement
    services, and (C) the only thing of value that is received from the
    arrangement, other than the payments permitted under this
    subsection, is a return on the ownership interest or franchise
    relationship, or (5) such other payments or classes of payments or
    other transfers as are specified in regulations prescribed by the
    Bureau, after consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary
    of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Federal
    Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the
    Federal Reserve System, and the Secretary of Agriculture. For
    purposes of the preceding sentence, the following shall not be
    considered a violation of clause (4)(B): (i) any arrangement that
    requires a buyer, borrower, or seller to pay for the services of an
    attorney, credit reporting agency, or real estate appraiser chosen
    by the lender to represent the lender's interest in a real estate
    transaction, or (ii) any arrangement where an attorney or law firm
    represents a client in a real estate transaction and issues or
    arranges for the issuance of a policy of title insurance in the
    transaction directly as agent or through a separate corporate title
    insurance agency that may be established by that attorney or law
    firm and operated as an adjunct to his or its law practice.

    (d) Penalties for violations; joint and several liability; treble
      damages; actions for injunction by Bureau and Secretary and by
      State officials; costs and attorney fees; construction of State
      laws
      (1) Any person or persons who violate the provisions of this
    section shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not
    more than one year, or both.
      (2) Any person or persons who violate the prohibitions or
    limitations of this section shall be jointly and severally liable
    to the person or persons charged for the settlement service
    involved in the violation in an amount equal to three times the
    amount of any charge paid for such settlement service.
      (3) No person or persons shall be liable for a violation of the
    provisions of subsection (c)(4)(A) of this section if such person
    or persons proves by a preponderance of the evidence that such
    violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error
    notwithstanding maintenance of procedures that are reasonably
    adapted to avoid such error.
      (4) The Bureau, the Secretary, or the attorney general or the
    insurance commissioner of any State may bring an action to enjoin
    violations of this section. Except, to the extent that a person is
    subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau, the Secretary, or the
    attorney general or the insurance commissioner of any State, the
    Bureau shall have primary authority to enforce or administer this
    section, subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial Protection
    Act of 2010 [12 U.S.C. 5511 et seq.].
      (5) In any private action brought pursuant to this subsection,
    the court may award to the prevailing party the court costs of the
    action together with reasonable attorneys fees.
      (6) No provision of State law or regulation that imposes more
    stringent limitations on affiliated business arrangements shall be
    construed as being inconsistent with this section.