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ClosingCorp: HUD’s RESPA plan would deter shopping

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A company that markets title insurance and other settlement services to consumers over the Internet says proposed changes to federal regulations will discourage comparison shopping. The Department of Housing and Urban Development claims its proposed changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) will help consumers save $8.35 billion a year by spurring competition and helping consumers find the best deal on a loan and settlement services. But ClosingCorp Inc. -- a San Diego-based company that operates the Web sites and -- maintains that HUD's proposed RESPA rule change will encourage consumers to choose settlement services recommended by lenders and discourage them from shopping on their own. In an effort to prevent last-minute increases in fees charged for settlement services at the closing table, HUD proposes placing tolerances on fee increases. Under HUD's proposed RESPA rule changes, the sum total of the increases in fees provid...