The 11th Circuit's decision last week in Culpepper v. Inland Mortgage Co. demonstrates the continuing uncertainty regarding the circumstances under which the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act permits yield spread premiums.

In this first circuit court decision regarding the legal status of yield spread premiums, the 11th Circuit rejected the district court's conclusion that a table-funded mortgage is a "good" that can be sold by a broker to a lender. The court reasoned that the right to direct a mortgage loan to one of several alternative lenders does not constitute ownership of that loan.

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