Have your friend talk with a real estate attorney regarding this matter. Something may be lost in translation. Some EMPLOYERS are charging for verification of employments and up front fees for appraisals are not uncommon. Knowing the full story would reveal if something was done improperly or not.
The information in this answer provided by Attorney Ranj Mohip is general information and is not intended as legal advice, nor does the attorney intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader by answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of Trulia.com.
Is this the same "broker" you were asking another question about on Trulia? So now I'm guessing you're talking about a "mortgage broker". Your other question that everyone is answering is assuming you were talking about a "Real Estate Broker"
Please see my blog with tips and advice regarding getting a mortgage