January 02, 2014

Next in Know Before You Owe: Mortgage closing

CFPB, alluding to the next phase in its Know Before You Owe initiative, is inviting comments until Feb. 7 about how the "pain points" in the mortgage closing process could be addressed through market innovation and technology.

"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 bureau said in a notice published in today's Federal Register. "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."

CFPB says it will conduct several initiatives that will test and study various ways the closing process might be improved. In its request for information, it is encouraging comments from:

  • consumers;
  • mortgage lenders and loan servicers;
  • housing finance professionals;
  • brokers and service providers in the residential real estate industry;
  • real estate agents;
  • housing attorneys;
  • fair lending, civil rights and consumer and community advocates;
  • providers of financial and housing counseling;
  • settlement closing agents; and
  • other interested parties.

Questions address common problems for consumers at closing; errors and changes; other parties at closing; closing documents; and ways to improve the process.

NAFCU plans to submit comments. It is preparing a Regulatory Alert seeking input from members.