Compliance Center: CFPB Releases New Tools as Part of ‘Know Before You Owe’ Mortgage Initiative

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a set of online tools that are designed to aid consumers navigate the mortgage process.  The tools are intended to be an interactive, step-by-step overview of the mortgage process, help homebuyers decide how much they can afford to spend, and help consumers explore and use the new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure mortgage forms.

CFPB is adding new tools to the “Owning a Home” site to help consumers throughout the experience of shopping for a mortgage. The new tools help consumers decide if owning a home is the right choice, understand what they need to do to get a mortgage, find the best offer, and close the deal. The new “Owning a Home” tools include:

  • Guide to the mortgage milestones: The new “Owning a Home” site is organized into different phases of the mortgage process. Each phase contains practical actions consumers can take, helpful information to keep in mind, and tips on how to avoid pitfalls. Also in each phase are interactive tools and resources to help consumers with key decisions.
  • Monthly mortgage payment worksheet: The tools include a monthly payment worksheet that helps homebuyers figure out how much they can spend on a mortgage. It asks potential buyers to consider their current debts, savings, living expenses, and projected costs if they bought a home.
  • Interactive sample of the new Know Before You Owe mortgage forms: “Owning a Home” features an interactive sample of the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. These can help consumers double-check the details of their own transactions and get definitions for terms they may not understand. The interactive samples provide descriptions and highlight key areas for consumers to pay attention to. For example, for the Loan Estimate, the tool helps consumers check if their rate is locked, if the loan amount is the expected loan amount, if the interest rate is fixed or adjustable, or if there a prepayment penalty. And “Owning a Home” shows consumers where to look, page-by-page, to check that terms and numbers on both the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure match.

The newly updated “Owning a Home” site also includes previously released resources such as the closing checklist, a loan options guide, and a tool to help consumers explore interest rates.

“Owning a Home” can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home

In addition to the release of new “Owning a Home” tools, the CFPB has also previously created other Know Before You Owe resources to help make the mortgage shopping process easier for consumers to navigate. These include:

  • “Your Home Loan Toolkit”: Consumers will receive the “Your Home Loan Toolkit” when they apply for a mortgage to purchase a home. The booklet has worksheets and conversation starters to help consumers at key points in the mortgage process.
  • Housing counselor locator: Housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can offer independent advice about whether a particular set of mortgage loan terms is a good fit based on a consumer’s objectives and circumstances, often at little or no cost. Consumers can find a housing counselor near them by using the CFPB’s search tool.
  • Guide for real estate professionals: This guide explains how the new Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule consolidates some of the previously required disclosures. It also explains how the timing of some activities in the mortgage process has changed. It can help real estate professionals work with clients to ensure smooth and on-time closings.

Credit unions may wish to leverage these tools to assist their members through the home buying process.

Compliance Question of the Week

If we refund money to cure a tolerance violation, must we also provide a correct Closing Disclosure under the new TILA/RESPA rule?

Yes. If you are curing a tolerance by providing a refund to the borrower, you must also deliver or place in the mail a correct Closing Disclosure that reflects the refund no later than 60 days after consummation.

Related Links:

12 CFR 1026.19(f)(2)(v)

Legal Briefs

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

During the NCUA’s board meeting, the board approved a final rule to raise the small entity asset ceiling to $100 million which will help provide regulatory relief in future rulemakings.

The NCUA announced that it has accepted an offer of judgment for $129.6 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The judgment is aimed at resolving claims resulting from losses related to mortgage back securities by Members United and Southwest Corporate credit unions.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The CFPB announced new members of its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council.

CFPB Director Cordray delivered prepared remarks to the National Association of Realtors. During his remarks, Cordray focused on the positive results resulting from the recent mortgage rule changes and discussed the upcoming TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures. Cordray stated that the new forms will make it easier for consumers to shop for mortgage loans.

The CFPB released new tools as part of its Know Before You Owe Mortgage initiative. According to the CFPB, the tools provide an “interactive, step-by-step overview of the mortgage process, help homebuyers decide how much they can afford to spend, and help consumers explore and use the new Know Before You Owe mortgage forms”.

The CFPB issued a final rule adjusting the annual thresholds in Regulation Z. The adjustments will take effect on January 1, 2016.

Federal Reserve Board (FRB)

The FRB released the materials from the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. The materials include the FOMC’s statement, which states that economic activity is expanding and its economic projections.

The FRB announced that it will host an interagency 90-minute webinar on Fair Lending Hot Topics. Agencies involved in the webinar include the DOJ, CFPB, NCUA, OCC, FRB, HUD, and FDIC. The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 11am PST.  Participants can register here.

The FRB released the September issue of FedFlash. This issue covers FedCash holiday currency and a reminder on the 2015 ACH rule changes.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

FDIC Chairman Gruenberg delivered remarks at the FDIC Banking Research Conference. Chairman Gruenberg’s remarks covered the steps the agency has taken to develop the framework established under the Dodd Frank Act to ensure that there is a system in place in the event that a large financial institution should fail.

The FDIC announced that it will be hosting live seminars on FDIC deposit insurance coverage for bank employees and officers. The FDIC has also published three separate FDIC insurance videos that have been posted to its YouTube channel. The videos cover calculating coverage, coverage for revocable trusts, and advance topics.

Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA)

The FHFA announced that it is developing a Common Securitization Platform (CSP) that will support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s single-family mortgage securitization activities. The CSP will be a common IT platform that will use industry standard software.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC has updated the SDN list as of September 17, 2015. The last update prior to this was September 10, 2015.

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, compliance@nwcua.org.

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