Lenders are edgy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is under fire, and mortgage industry lawyers are throwing rocks. The reason: a federal judge's ruling in the lawsuit filed against Crestar Mortgage Corp. and Saxon Mortgage Inc.

The suit charged the lenders, both based in Richmond, Va., with violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act by paying fees to brokers who had already been paid by borrowers. The case was forced into the spotlight following a ruling last week by Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, who decided such fees were prohibited by Respa.

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