New GFE to reshape mortgage ethics?

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On Jan. 1, 2010, a redesigned good faith estimate (GFE) will become effective and make mortgage shopping a little easier for borrowers. The GFE is a disclosure of information about a mortgage transaction that lenders must provide within three business days of receiving an application. The existing GFE, which has been around as far back as I can remember, is really bad, setting the bar for improvement extremely low. The new GFE clears the bar by a comfortable margin, though it is far from perfect. Clearer presentation of critical mortgage features: The existing GFE, and its companion Truth in Lending (TIL) disclosure, are so poorly designed that borrowers who are distracted and feel under pressure when they are exposed to disclosure documents often miss what may be critically important to them.This could be that the interest rate on their loan can increase, that the balance can increase, that their loan has a balloon payment, or that it has a prepayment penalty. With the new...