Many builders give incentives to a buyer only if they use the builder’s lender and/or title company. This practice is called “Required Use” and is technically a RESPA law violation by providing something of value for steering business to a specific company, but builders keep getting away with it because customers and agents won’t talk to their congressmen. Additionally the builder lobby has a lot of money that keeps this topic suppressed. There is a bill in the Texas congress right now that has the support of TAR (Texas Association of Realtors). This bill (House Bill 2385 – http://www.ccar.net/call-action-house-bill-2385/ ) explicitly identifies the “required use” practice as being illegal and not in the buyer’s best interest. Buyers must be allowed to select their own lender and/or title company without being ‘punished’ by the builder for choosing someone else.
PLEASE contact TX representative Jeff Leach who is the sponsor of this bill to tell him about anyone you know who is being held hostage and not able to select their own lender and/or title company without losing thousands of dollars of incentives given by the builder. We will never get across the importance of how horrific this practice is until more people speak up. Often times the buyer ends up with a higher than market interest rate and pays higher loan fees and higher title fees using the builder’s lender/title company, but to a buyer who just wants the house, the multi-thousand dollar incentive is too much to pass up so they end up reluctantly agreeing. Buyers should not have to make that bad financial decision. Buyers should receive the same incentives regardless of the lender and/or Title Company involved in the transaction.
The 85th Texas congressional session will only last until May 29, 2017, so acting quickly is important. Please email Jeff Leach by going to: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=67&session=85 and in your message identify anyone you know who has been a victim of “required use” and that you would like to support House Bill 2385.
Additionally please contact your specific congressmen. If you don’t know how to do that, click here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/resources/frequently-asked-questions/#email_rep and enter your address, then click on [Find your Representative]. On the next page you will see the name of both your TX State Senator and State Representative. If you click on their names you will be taken to their website where you can “email them” asking for their support of TX House Bill 2385.
Please help to stop this illegal practice that is punishing homebuyers through excessive financial costs and has gone on for too many years. Please share this message with others.
The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.