(A) No registrant shall fail to do any of the following:
(1) Maintain a special account;
(2) Deposit into the registrant's special account any bona fide third-party fee the registrant receives;
(3) Pay bona fide third-party fees to a bona fide third party from the registrant's special account.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code, no registrant shall charge or receive, directly or indirectly, fees for assisting a buyer in obtaining a residential mortgage loan, until all of the services that the registrant has agreed to perform for the buyer are completed, and the proceeds of the residential mortgage loan have been disbursed to or on behalf of the buyer. However, prior to completion of such services the following fees may be paid for services performed by a bona fide third party in assisting the buyer to obtain a residential mortgage loan if the fees are either paid directly by the buyer to the bona fide third party or, except as provided in division (B)(5) of this section, the fees are deposited by the registrant into the registrant's special account for services performed by the bona fide third party:
(1) Fees to obtain a report from a credit reporting agency;
(2) Fees for notary services;
(3) Fees for the performance of a title search, appraisal of the real estate, or survey of the real estate;
(4) Fees charged by a lender for locking in an interest rate in connection with obtaining or refinancing a residential mortgage loan, provided that the fees do not exceed an amount equal to one and one-half per cent of the mortgage loan amount;
(5) Fees not exceeding five hundred dollars paid directly by the buyer to a state or federal government agency or instrumentality for purposes of processing a mortgage application relating to a government sponsored or guaranteed mortgage program.
(C) If fees are paid by a buyer for the performance of any of the services described in division (B)(3) of this section and the registrant is unable to assist in obtaining a mortgage for the buyer, the registrant shall return to the buyer the original documents prepared by the bona fide third party at the time that the request for the mortgage is refused or denied. With respect to any appraisal, however, the registrant may return either the original or a copy. No registrant shall fail to comply with this division.
(D) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Bona fide third party" means a person that is not an employee of, related to, or affiliated with, the registrant, and that is not used for the purpose of circumvention or evasion of this section.
(2) "Special account" means an insured depository account with a depository institution that is separate and distinct from any personal or other account of the registrant, and that is maintained solely for the holding and payment of fees described in this section for services performed by bona fide third parties and received by the registrant from buyers that the registrant assists in obtaining mortgages.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.
Effective Date: 05-02-2002
Related Legislative Provision: See 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §745.60.