Regaining faith in mortgages

5 must-knows about new 'Good Faith Estimate'

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

For years, people have complained that there wasn't a lot of "good faith" in some of the so-called Good Faith Estimates that lenders supplied in order to give borrowers an advance idea of the costs attached to their mortgages. All too often, consumer activists have charged, homebuyers would show up for their closings and find laid before them a vastly different set of figures than they'd expected -- with little more than a "sorry, that's just the way it worked out" from the lenders. Sometimes that would be unfortunate, but true. Sometimes, the changed figures would be the result of sloppiness. And sometimes, they represented malfeasance by the lender or loan originator. "People would go to closing 60 days (after getting the estimate) and get a settlement statement that didn't even remotely resemble what their loan offer was (giving them)," said Brian Sullivan, a spokesman for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Terms...