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Lender Feedback Sought for Disclosures

CFPB proposes 2 sample disclosures

May 18, 2011

By staff

The nation's new financial watchdog is looking for lender feedback on two proposed disclosures.

The forms were released Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

According to the bureau, the proposed disclosures consolidate the Good Faith Estimate required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act with the federal Truth in Lending Act disclosure.

"While they are intended to convey basic facts about home loans to help consumers comparison shop, these forms have overlapping information and complicated terms that can be difficult to understand," the CFPB's statement said. "For years, Congress and federal regulators have considered merging the two documents, and last year's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed the CFPB to propose new integrated disclosures."

The new regulator is asking lenders to identify which of the two forms would better inform a prospective borrower about loan terms.

Using a $216,000 mortgage as an example, the two forms include identical information for a 30-year adjustable-rate mortgage to be used for a home purchase.

Mortgage Bankers Association President and Chief Executive Officer David H. Stevens said in a statement that it is important that a proper balance is struck between consumer protection and disruptive operational implementation.

"One of the challenges this effort inevitably faces is trying to strike the right balance between simplification and providing as much information as possible to help borrowers make the most informed choices" Stevens said. "Previous attempts at revising the forms have struggled with this paradox and this is going to be a focus of everyone involved in this effort."

The CFPB said that the new form will be tested for several months beginning tomorrow. One-on-one interviews will be conducted with borrowers, brokers and lenders in six cities. The formal rulemaking process will follow.

Lenders are being encouraged to visit the CFPB's Web site and choose the better option.

"We're designing a single, simpler disclosure," the announcement said. "From now until Friday, May 27th, you can review our draft designs, and tell us what you like best. It only takes a few minutes, and your input will be delivered to our team."

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