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Federal regulators probing real estate kickback schemes

WASHINGTON — A settlement between the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a Texas home builder is drawing renewed attention to a controversial issue that was prominent during the years preceding the housing bubble: kickbacks in home real estate transactions. Put another way, do you know where your money is really going when you pay thousands of dollars in loan fees and closing charges? Is your realty broker or builder getting an extra piece of the action through side deals with lenders or title companies — all at your expense through higher charges? The consumer bureau's allegations in its case against Dallas-based Paul Taylor Homes illustrate how these...

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