Simplifying the disclosure forms provided to home buyers could save them an average of $668 at the closing table -- an estimated $8.35 billion a year -- by helping them find the best deal from mortgage lenders and settlement service providers such as title insurers. That's the claim officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are making as they roll out their latest attempt at reforming the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Proposed revisions to RESPA published in today's Federal Register would require all loan originators to provide borrowers with a standardized Good Faith Estimate (GFE). HUD says simplifying and standardizing the GFE would make it easier for home buyers to shop around by comparing the fees charged by loan originators, whether they are yield spread premiums paid to mortgage brokers or other fees charged by banks. The proposed rule would also allow settlement service providers to seek volume-based discounts for sett...
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