As of Jan. 1, 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires lenders to provide mortgage borrowers with a new three-page Good Faith Estimate (GFE) to protect consumers who are applying for a mortgage.
The intent of the GFE is to educate consumers about the key terms and costs of a mortgage, both at origination and ongoing. A loan originator completes the form, giving the borrower a summary of the loan particulars and information necessary to shop rates and to be sure they're comparing like-type mortgages.
Although there's grumbling, mostly from mortgage brokers, lenders and closing/escrow agents, the format and information included in the new GFE is a step in the right direction. There are, however, some quirks.