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CFPB Moves to Improve Mortgage Closing Process

Regulator looking at good, bad

Jan. 3, 2014

By Mortgage Daily staff

Consumers and lenders who don't like the closing process for a home loan are getting an opportunity to air their grievances to the supreme mortgage regulator. Technology solutions are sought.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking feedback about key consumer "pain points" in the mortgage closing process.

In addition, the regulator wants to hear how innovations in the market and technology can address the "pain points."

Details about the requested comments were outlined in a public filing.

Comments are sought for questions about common closing problems, helpful parts of closing process and consumer recollection of the mortgage closing process. The bureau also wants to know how long the process is taking, how informed were consumers by the time they got to closing and how consumers could better understand loan terms.

The CFPB is also interested in what consumers are surprised about when they get to closing and how they react.

When borrowers seek advice during the closing, the CFPB wants to know how they go about it, what medium they use and with whom do they seek advise from.

Comments are being taken on what closing documents borrowers usually remember seeing, which were confusing and where borrowers found resources for loan terms they weren't familiar with.

Finally, the CFPB wants suggestions for improvements to the closing process. It wants to know what consumers should look for at closing.

The CFPB hopes to hear from market participants, consumers and other stakeholders who work closely with consumers.

"The CFPB seeks to encourage the development of a more streamlined, efficient, and educational closing process as the mortgage industry increases its usage of technology, electronic signatures, and paperless processes," the filing said. "The next phase of CFPB's Know Before You Owe initiative aims to identify ways to improve the mortgage closing process for consumers. This project will encourage interventions that increase consumer knowledge, understanding, and confidence at closing."

Questions are posed online by the CFPB at www.gpo.gov.

Comments, which need to reference "Docket No. CFPB-2013-0036," are being taken until Feb. 7 at www.regulations.gov or by postal mail at Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, D.C., 20552.

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