Industry NewsMortgage

Bundled real estate packages save less than predicted

Research shows RESPA reform could cut $225 from average loan closing

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that the reform of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act would save the average real estate loan borrower $936 in settlement costs, but the potential cost savings could be much lower at about $225, according to The TowerGroup. Yet bundled settlement packages, whether by regulation or not, could make the mortgage closing process simpler for consumers. The research company reached those conclusions in a recent study, "RESPA Reform and Guaranteed Mortgage Packages: The Impact on Lending, Mortgage IT and the Consumer." Although HUD withdrew its proposed changes to RESPA earlier this year, the agency has vowed to continue seeking reform of RESPA, which governs industry kickbacks and payoffs. Among other changes, HUD's proposal would have permitted the sale of guaranteed-price bundled packages of settlement services, or Guaranteed Mortgage Package Agreements, the element TowerGroup focused on in its report. HUD ma...