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Industry slams HUD’s RESPA proposal

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Industry groups today voiced alarm over changes proposed by federal regulators to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, saying they will prove costly to implement and won't help consumers as claimed. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says its proposed changes to RESPA -- including simplified disclosures of loan terms and settlement costs, and incentives for packaging settlement services with loans -- will save consumers about $8.35 billion a year, or more than $700 per loan. In their first opportunity to make a case against the proposed changes in a public forum, industry groups representing Realtors and title insurers urged HUD to back away from packaging incentives and tolerances, calling them anti-competitive. The Mortgage Bankers Association voiced support for packaging incentives but joined other industry groups in criticizing some aspects of HUD's proposed standardized disclosure forms and a required reading of a lengthy closing-table scri...