Banks Accused of Improperly Marking Up Broker Price Opinion (BPO) Fees
Contact Us for a Free Consultation: (215) 278-4449
Some mortgage lenders, including Santander Bank (formerly Sovereign Bank)
are accused of improperly marking up the cost of Broker Price Opinions (BPOs).
Mortgage agreements allow banks and lenders to pass through the costs of
getting BPOs from third party real estate brokers directly to the borrowers.
BPOs are typically ordered once a borrower is late with a payment or defaults
on a residential loan.
However, mortgage agreements require that the borrower pay the actual cost
of the BPO to the lender, and that the fee imposed on the borrower may
not be marked up by lender. One of these lenders, Santander Bank, has
been accused of using automated software to order BPOs from brokers, and
then marking up the BPO fee it charges borrowers who are late with a payment
or default on a residential loan. This mark up breaches the terms of the
mortgage agreement and violates consumer protection laws, costing homeowners
higher fees for BPOs than permitted.
Santander Bank is Accused of Impermissibly Marking Up the Fees it Charges Borrowers
Santander Bank (formerly Sovereign Bank) uses automated software that orders
BPOs from brokers once a borrower is late with a payment or defaults on
a residential loan. The broker charges a fixed amount of money for each
BPO performed, and Santander is permitted to pass through the cost of
the BPO to the borrower.
Instead of passing through the cost that Santander pays the third party
real estate brokers for the BPOs, however, the bank first marks up each
and every BPO before billing the borrower the marked up fee. The costs
of these marked up fees are then added to the total amount the borrower
owes the lender, resulting in increased indebtedness and less equity in
the property. These marked up fees are often paid by the homeowner without
fully understanding just what they are paying for, and that the cost has
to be a pass through of what the bank has paid, causing the homeowner
to slip further into default with their mortgage lender.
Santander Bank’s business practices:
- Breach the terms of the mortgage contract;
- Go against good faith and fair dealing practices, among other violations;
- Violate consumer protection laws; and
- Use marked up BPOs as a profit center to take advantage of mortgage holders
that may not understand what they are being charged for.
If you currently have a mortgage with Santander Bank (or another mortgage
lenders) and have been charged for a Broker Price Opinion that may have
been impermissibly marked up, you may be eligible to receive compensation
as a result of this mortgage lender’s business practices. To learn
more about your legal options or to
schedule a free consultation with a class action attorney from our firm, call
(215) 278-4449. We represent homeowners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the