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New RESPA Rule Set to Go Live

New RESPA Rule Set to Go LiveHUD says on track for Jan. 1, 2010 implementation

May 12, 2009

By staff

After some adjustments, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it is ready to move forward with mortgage reforms under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.Under the new RESPA rule, which is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2010, mortgage brokers and lenders will be required to provide prospective borrowers with a standard Good Faith Estimate that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs, HUD announced Monday. Yield-spread premiums paid by wholesale lenders to mortgage brokers must be fully disclosed to borrowers on the new form.

Mortgage brokers consider the YSP disclosure requirement unfair because competing mortgage bankers are not required to disclose servicing released premiums earned after loans are closed. But mortgage bankers support more clarity on YSP disclosures.

In addition, closing agents will be required to provide borrowers with a new HUD-1 settlement statement that compares, line by line, estimated costs with actual costs.

“For the first time in more than 30 years, HUD is updating mortgage rules to help consumers shop for the lowest cost mortgage, avoid costly and potentially harmful loan offers, and save an average of $700,” the announcement said.

In May 2008, executives from the Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Land Title Association testified before the House Committee on Small Business that proposed RESPA reforms would complicate — not simplify — the loan origination process. MBA called for more coordination with the Federal Reserve, which is responsible for the Truth In Lending Act. ALTA warned that the imposition of volume discounts could create an anti-competitive environment, hurt small businesses and reduce choices for settlement service providers.

In today’s statement, HUD said it is withdrawing on provision of the final rule that redefines “required use,” a prohibited practice where borrowers are steered toward higher cost mortgage services provided by affiliated businesses. The withdrawal followed more than 1,200 public comments. HUD plans to propose revised language.

“After further consultation with the public, stakeholders and Congress, we will propose a clearer and more effective ‘required use’ definition that truly protects borrowers from those who force them to use affiliated businesses,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stated in the news release.

Donovan noted that the new rule is part of a broader reform to make the mortgage process more clear and transparent.

How the New RESPA Rule Impacts Wholesale Lending
The law firm of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC provided an analysis on the impact of HUD’s new RESPA rule on wholesale lenders and mortgage brokers on Feb. 10, 2009.

RESPA Rule White Paper
Analysis of HUD’s new rule under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act prepared by Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC.

Revised RESPA Rules Released
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its first revision to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in 30 years. The new form requires disclosure of yield spread premiums paid to mortgage brokers.

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