The Department of Housing and Urban Development's effort to beef up enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is misplaced, a leading regulatory attorney says.What the mortgage business needs is more "guidance," not police actions, Phillip Schulman of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham said at the Real Estate Service Providers Council's annual conference in Washington. "It is not fair to use enforcement as a way to teach you what HUD thinks the rules are," he said. HUD has increasingly been holding the collective feet of lenders, builders, real estate brokers, title companies, and other settlement service providers to the RESPA fire, adding 15 people to a staff that used to number just a handful and increasing funding. As a result, Mr. Schulman told the meeting, the agency is now on the offense. "I fear one settlement [agreement under RESPA] a week or every other week," he said.

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