Offering a few concessions to the real estate industry, the Bush administration is moving forward with regulatory changes that it expects will dramatically alter the way mortgage loans and settlement services like title insurance are marketed and sold to consumers. The new rules, which would not be enforced until 2010, would require loan originators to stick closely to cost estimates provided to borrowers on a new, standardized disclosure form. The rules would also provide incentives for lenders to package settlement services such as title insurance with loans. Officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development claim the new rules will help borrowers comparison-shop between competing loan offers or complete loan packages, saving them an average of nearly $700 at the closing table. "Millions of families go to the settlement table ... without clearly understanding what they are paying for," Housing Secretary Steve Preston said in announcing changes seve...
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