Industry News

Government keeps real estate rules secret

Opinion: Housing agency should let industry, public, Congress read RESPA proposal

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We here highly resolve that...government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth. –Abraham Lincoln It's unoriginal, but nonetheless true and worth saying that government agencies shouldn't act in secret. Whether it's the vice president of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department or even the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the public has a right and a responsibility to know and understand governmental decisions and actions. The federal housing department, a $32 billion public agency with 9,300 employees, violated this sacred principal of openness some 90 days ago when it submitted to the White House Office and Management and Budget a finalized rule to revamp part of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. RESPA is a set of regulations that proscribe certain disclosures for home mortgages and prohibit certain kickbacks in real estate transactions, among other requirements. The rule HUD su...