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24 CFR § 3500.4—Reliance Upon Rule, Regulation Or Interpretation By HUD Under Regulation X (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act-RESPA)

For class action defense attorneys who defend against RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) class actions, we provide the text of Regulation X. Congress gave authority to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to promulgate regulations for RESPA, and the regulations are set forth in 24 CFR § 3500.1 et seq. The regulations provide for rules, regulations and interpretations by HUD in § 3500.4, which provides:

§ 3500.4. Reliance upon rule, regulation or interpretation by HUD

(a) Rule, regulation or interpretation.–(1) For purposes of sections 19(a) and (b) of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2617(a) and (b)) only the following constitute a rule, regulation or interpretation of the Secretary:

(i) All provisions, including appendices, of this part. Any other document referred to in this part is not incorporated in this part unless it is specifically set out in this part;

(ii) Any other document that is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER by the Secretary and states that it is an “interpretation,” “interpretive rule,” “commentary,” or a “statement of policy” for purposes of section 19(a) of RESPA. Such documents will be prepared by HUD staff and counsel. Such documents may be revoked or amended by a subsequent document published in the FEDERAL REGISTER by the Secretary.

(2) A “rule, regulation, or interpretation thereof by the Secretary” for purposes of section 19(b) of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2617(b)) shall not include the special information booklet prescribed by the Secretary or any other statement or issuance, whether oral or written, by an officer or representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), letter or memorandum by the Secretary, General Counsel, any Assistant Secretary or other officer or employee of HUD, preamble to a regulation or other issuance of HUD, Public Guidance Document, report to Congress, pleading, affidavit or other document in litigation, pamphlet, handbook, guide, telegraphic communication, explanation, instructions to forms, speech or other material of any nature which is not specifically included in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) Unofficial interpretations; staff discretion. In response to requests for interpretation of matters not adequately covered by this part or by an official interpretation issued under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, unofficial staff interpretations may be provided at the discretion of HUD staff or counsel. Written requests for such interpretations should be directed to the address indicated in § 3500.3. Such interpretations provide no protection under section 19(b) of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2617(b)). Ordinarily, staff or counsel will not issue unofficial interpretations on matters adequately covered by this Part or by official interpretations or commentaries issued under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section.

(c) All informal counsel’s opinions and staff interpretations issued before November 2, 1992, were withdrawn as of that date. Courts and administrative agencies, however, may use previous opinions to determine the validity of conduct under the previous Regulation X.