The "litmus paper test" of whether something is a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is whether one is not certain of its legality, according to Lawrence Jacobson, an attorney from Beverly Hills, Calif.In that case, he told the Turn On Your Million-Dollar Brain VI conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., one should work under the assumption that it is a violation. He added that the people who are most hurt by RESPA violators are the ones who comply with the law. As business slows down, the number of violations will increase, he said. Mr. Jacobson also reminded the audience that while something might pass muster under RESPA, it could be a violation of a state or local law.

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