A federal appeals court ruling last week is expected to spark more lawsuits over a type of fee that many mortgage lenders pay brokers.

Reversing a lower court ruling, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta said Friday that Indianapolis- based Inland Mortgage Corp. violated mortgage disclosure rules when it paid a "yield spread premium" fee to a broker in 1995. The decision-the first by an appeals court on this issue-is a serious setback for lenders, who had been winning most of these cases in the lower courts, experts said.

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