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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

ALTA Members Share Concerns of Draft Mortgage Disclosures With Small Business Panel

March 8, 2012

Four ALTA members were among a cross-section of small entities in the financial services industry that advised a Small Business Review Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel on March 6 how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s draft integrated RESPA/TILA mortgage disclosure forms will impact closings and their business.

Participating on the panel were Pam Day of Day Title Services in Richmond, Va.; Celia Flowers of East Texas Title Companies in Tyler, Texas; Dave Windle of Cal-Sierra Title in Quincy, Calif.; and Steve Buckman of Buckman Legal in Washington, D.C.

The SBREFA panel included a representative from each of the CFPB, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. The CFPB is only one of three federal agencies subject to the SBREFA process, the other two being the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The panel discussion focused on the latest draft forms Tupelo and Basswood, and this 41 page overview of the regulatory proposal and a list of questions.

ALTA’s members focused on three main points that would reduce implementation costs and time for the industry in preparing the form. First, ALTA member participants suggested responsibility for completing the new Settlement Disclosure should be bifurcated between lenders and settlement agents. Lenders should be responsible for preparing the TILA-required information while settlement agent should be responsible for preparing the RESPA-required information. ALTA members also suggested reverting back to the pre-2010 HUD-1 for the settlement statement portion of the form, or at least maintaining line numbers. Finally, it was suggested that instead of releasing a model form, the CFPB promulgate a mandatory form with concise rules so that all lenders have the same line items in the same places on the form.

The SBREFA panel must complete a report from the hearing no later than May 5, 2012. The panel will take suggestions made during the discussion into account when drafting the final proposed rule, which is expected to be published July 21, 2012.

For more information, contact ALTA's Legislative and Regulatory Counsel Steve Gottheim.

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