Industry News

RESPA reform coming again

Housing agency's plight to simplify home-buying process continues

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico -- RESPA reform is coming again, but it won't look much like the Department of Housing and Urban Development's recently failed effort to reform that law.   That was the consensus of panelists discussing RESPA and related compliance issues last week at United General Title Insurance Co.'s "Mid-Winter Thaw" conference here on Mexico's Baja peninsula. RESPA, which stands for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, was enacted in 1974 to provide for the advance disclosure of closing costs and to prohibit kickbacks and excessive fees in the home-buying process. Intense opposition from most segments of the real estate industry killed HUD's efforts to reform RESPA two years ago. The difference this time around, according to Philip Schulman, a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP, is that HUD officials are listening to the feedback they received from industry executives in a series of round table discussions last year. And w...