Industry News

‘Passionate but polite’ debate opens for RESPA reform

Businesses, industry associations discuss proposed changes

A "passionate but polite" discussion greeted the unveiling of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's proposed reforms of the mortgage settlement process at a roundtable meeting Thursday, a HUD spokesman said. The event, held at the housing agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters, was the first in a series HUD has planned to collect input from consumers and industry professionals on how to simplify the home-buying process. It marked the first time representatives from businesses and industry trade groups had a chance to see HUD's new proposed Mortgage Package Offer and revised Good Faith Estimate forms, among other reforms that were formulated in 2004 but not shared with the industry at the time. Both of the draft forms can be viewed at HUD's Web site that focuses on reform of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA. RESPA governs many aspects of the mortgage settlement process, and HUD is proposing changes to the Act to make the process simpler and easier...