Tag Archives for " Consumer Finance Protection Bureau "

Know Before You Owe

loan estimate mortgage disclosure rules


In 2015, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) created “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules. These were implemented to ensure that consumers would have easy-to-understand information before making what is usually their largest financial decision – namely, the purchase of their own primary residence.

There were a bunch of disclosures required by the CFPB – with changes introduced every year. The key disclosures are the Loan Estimate (which replaced the old Good Faith Estimate), and the Closing Disclosure (which replaced the old HUD-1 Settlement Statement). A lender or mortgage broker is required to issue you a Loan Estimate within three (3) business days to a prospective borrower who is “in application”.

Borrowers refinancing or purchasing a residential property are deemed to be “in application” when the following six items have been received:

  1. Full Name
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Property Address (for a purchase, there should be a reasonable probability of going under contract)
  4. Estimated Value (for a purchase, what the offer is expected to be)
  5. Loan Amount (this item would not be considered received if the down payment is uncertain)
  6. Income (the borrower’s actual and projected earnings should be reasonably reliable)

This was a good rule, because consumers often never really knew what their loan costs and reserves would be until right before closing. Unscrupulous lenders and brokers had been “hooking” their borrowers – thereby making it difficult to change lenders right before funding.

Interestingly, these rules do not apply to commercial, reverse, mobile home or HELOC mortgages.

Here’s the Point: Get a Loan Estimate as soon as possible when applying for a mortgage – so that you know what your costs are likely to be.

Excuse Me? Who are the “Entitled” Ones?

There are lots of articles written about Millennials – you’ve read them (e.g., the notion that they are lazy, filled with too much self-regard, have unrealistic monetary expectations, etc.). The ages of Millennials varies depending on the author, but seems to focus on the era between 1982 and 2004 – or, said another way, their average age today is about 22.

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What does this have to do with mortgages you ask?!

For all the perceived negatives, these “kids” (I can call them that because they are younger than my children) are the most adaptable and cooperative of all my clients. EVERYONE (note the emphasis) must open their books to get a mortgage done today – regardless of age or socioeconomic status.  This is mainly thanks to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), which significantly tightened the regulations for mortgage qualification purposes after the 2007 U.S. Housing Crisis. Sure, I complain about the paperwork all the time, but welcome to the new reality – which, by the way, is here to stay.

For the most part, I don’t have a problem with the requirements – and I deal with them every day.  Consumers get more sensible mortgages and banks have stronger balance sheets to return dividends.  From my experience, the people who have the biggest problem with regulations are the affluent Baby Boomers (1946-1964).  Is it because many of them have never had a mortgage?  Regardless, they have the perceived notion that: The higher the net worth, the less paperwork that should be required.  Wrong.

Here’s the Point: No one is “entitled” when it comes to providing paperwork for obtaining a mortgage – and that is exactly the way it should work in the marketplace.