Mortgage lenders who routinely mark up the costs of appraisals and other settlement services provided by third parties may soon have HUD looking over their shoulder.The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been hamstrung in its enforcement of markups due to three U.S. appeals court decisions earlier in the decade. However, the three most recent decisions have affirmed HUD's position that markups can violate the fee-splitting prohibitions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, according to Peter Race, HUD's assistant general counsel. "HUD will continue to closely look at markups of third-party charges," Mr. Race told a RESPA conference sponsored by the National Real Estate Development Center. "And we will take action when there is no work done or little work done to justify a markup of charges."

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