Industry News

Congress wants sunshine in RESPA process

Letter criticizes secrecy of HUD's finalized proposal

A sizable chunk of the U.S. Congress wants the White House to rethink a proposal to reform the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Two hundred and twenty-six members of Congress last Friday sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget urging the White House agency to reject the Department of Housing and Urban Development's RESPA proposal, which was submitted to OMB for its review in December 2003. The letter written by Reps. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) stated that the signatories supported HUD's efforts to improve the home-buying process, but disapproved of the way in which HUD submitted its final proposal to OMB. OMB has 90 days from the date of submission to return its comments. "When a rule produces this much uncertainty and opposition from so many quarters, federal agencies usually respond by reconsidering their proposed actions, making changes to the proposed rule, and again soliciting public comment. However, instead of issuing a revised pro...