ALTA Urges Support for Bipartisan TRID Hold-harmless Bill

October 7, 2015

ALTA led 29 other industry organizations in a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 3192, the Homebuyers Assistance Act.

The bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by Reps. French Hill (R-AK) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), would provide an official hold-harmless period until February 1, 2016, for those making a good-faith effort to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on Oct. 3. The bill also would provide relief from civil liability.

“We thank Reps. Hill and Sherman for their leadership in bringing this important bill to a House vote,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “There will be a learning curve as industry professionals adjust to the new requirements. Reps. Hill and Sherman understand the real world implications and the efforts of those working to implement such a complex regulation and their bill will make a big difference for consumers and ALTA members.”

“A definitive hold-harmless period will give companies making good-faith efforts to comply the time needed to properly understand how this new regulation works in real-life transactions, while delivering the service and closing experience that homebuyers deserve. Without certainty, service providers are likely to close fewer transactions to ensure compliance with TRID, which will delay homeownership for consumers around the country,” Korsmo continued.

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on H.R. 3192. U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the bill important “for everyone who is doing their best to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) mortgage loan transaction disclosure rule. This bipartisan bill provides certainty to businesses that are trying to comply with the rule as well as an opportunity to work out any implementation issues that come up. There is no reason that CFPB regulations should prevent homebuyers from being able to buy and close on a home.

“Owning a home has always been an important part of the American Dream, and government should never stop people from reaching that goal. Representative French Hill’s leadership on this bill means many Americans will be that much closer to achieving their American Dream,” McCarthy added.

During a hearing in September before the House Services Committee—which passed H.R. 3192 on July 9—Hill said that some 230,000 Americans refinance or buy a new home every month and “they’re going to be the ones who are victimized by this confusing rule that doesn’t get implemented properly do to a technology reason or a misunderstanding at a real estate brokerage, or a title company, or a bank.”

“I hope we can (pass H.R. 3192) before October 3, so that our title (companies), commercial banks, mortgage bankers, real estate agents all have some confidence that they can go into this new closing regime and not be penalized, either by the federal government or through civil liability,” Hill added. “We can't defend bureaucratic intransigence at the expense of our home-buying public.”

In addition to supporting H.R. 3192, ALTA previously joined 17 other industry groups urging federal regulators to provide formal guidance on how regulators plan to enforce TRID for the initial months following implementation on Oct. 3.

The letter asks the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) “to implement a clearly articulated transition period that addresses how regulators will oversee and examine regulated institutions for TRID compliance during this transition period.”

Without clear guidance, it’s expected access to mortgage credit will be constrained due to fear of enforcement actions for errors committed in good faith. The CFPB has said it will be sensitive to those making good-faith efforts to comply. CFPB Director Richard Cordray reiterated those remarks during testimony on Sept. 29.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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