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Learning Center Experience
By Ted Highland – National Training Manager, Kaplan Real Estate Education
Published May 2015
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA, commonly known as Federal Regulation Z) became operative on July 1, 1969. The initial purpose of this law was to promote the informed use of consumer credit by requiring lenders and others (including real estate licensees) to make specific disclosures on real estate credit transactions in a truth-in-lending disclosure statement (TIL). It was first amended in 1970 to prohibit unsolicited credit card offers. Additional revisions expanded the law significantly. Under Dodd-Frank, in 2011, enforcement of TILA came under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) became operative on June 20, 1975. Originally, it was enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and addressed two major areas of concern:
1) Disclosures regarding the nature and costs in the real estate settlement process by delivery of a statutory form (commonly known as the HUD-1)
2) Prohibiting kickbacks in the settlement of real estate transactions
RESPA has been modified over the years beyond its original scope. In 1990, revisions added disclosures regarding mortgage servicing. In 2008, a new closing costs estimate or good faith estimate (GFE) form was introduced. In 2011, responsibility for enforcement of RESPA was transferred from HUD to the CFPB.
Under these two laws, consumers received different and overlapping federally-required disclosure forms. The original purpose of these forms was to make certain information more understandable, but the forms have proven confusing for many consumers.
On August 1, 2015, the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule will replace four existing forms with two new forms. The Loan Estimate form will replace the initial TIL and the GFE. It will be provided three business days after a loan application is received by a lender. The Closing Disclosure form will replace the HUD-1 and the final TIL. It will be provided three business days before closing. These changes will reduce paperwork and hopefully end consumer confusion.
The new Loan Estimate form will highlight information that has been most important to consumers. The interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs will be clearly presented on the first page. This will make it easier for consumers to compare mortgage loans and choose the one that is right for them.
The new Closing Disclosure form will provide more information about the costs of taxes and insurance, and about how the interest rate and payments may change in the future. It will also warn consumers about things they may want to avoid, such as prepayment penalties. This information may help consumers decide whether they can afford the home now and in the future as well.
The full text of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule is 1,800 pages long. Obviously this article is not intended to make you an expert, but to introduce you to these upcoming changes. For a 91-page guide on the new rule, samples of the new forms, and detailed instructions for form completion, you can visit www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation/tila-respa/. The webpage also includes video webinars that address the implementation of the new rule.
Ted Highland is a National Training Manager at Kaplan Real Estate Education. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
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