Category: Policy & Compliance

Know Before You Owe: We’re Back!

Last month, we introduced the Know Before You Owe project to give consumers, lenders, and other industry participants a way to help us make mortgage shopping easier. You responded with more than 13,000 comments, and we listened.

We appreciate the time you took to give us those comments. Your feedback was largely consistent with the one-on-one interviews we conducted with consumers, lenders, and brokers, and we’ve incorporated much of it into our new prototypes. Thank you for helping us on our effort to provide consumers with the information they need to understand and compare mortgage offers and to find the one that works best for them. We want lenders to present this information as simply, clearly, and effectively as possible.

So now we’re asking for your input once again. We want you to tell us what you think of the new versions. Know Before You Owe graphic that links to Feedback Tool

In the first round, the back page was the same on both versions. The front page – the “shopping sheet” – was different. This time, the first page is the same on both versions, and our focus is on the back page, which deals with closing costs: how well do these new drafts communicate that information?

A few words about the new sample forms, which come to us from the (fictitious, of course) Redbud Credit Union and Dogwood Credit Union

  • The revised first page features the dark tabs and yes/no buttons from the Ficus Bank draft from Round 1. Both Round 1 forms generally performed well, but some groups of consumers found the Ficus Bank format easier to use, so we kept many of the Ficus design elements. The new prototype also integrates several of the best Pecan features, and it reorganizes and clarifies the information to reflect the lessons we learned from Round 1. Again, this time, the first page is the same for both prototypes.
  • The second pages of the Round 2 forms provide alternative approaches to showing closing costs, so that we can focus in on how much detail is helpful to consumers.

Just like last time, here are a few questions we’d like you to keep in mind as you review:

  • Would this form help consumers understand the closing costs associated with their loans?
  • Could lenders and brokers clearly and easily explain the form to their customers?
  • What would you like to see improved on the form? Is there some way to make things a little bit clearer?

We will consider the information submitted through our website as we analyze the information we receive in the in-depth interviews to further revise the prototypes. This round is open for feedback until Tuesday, July 5, at 7pm Eastern time. You can participate any time between now and then, but the sooner you tell us the earlier we’ll be able to start thinking about how to improve on these forms for the next round. Send us your feedback today!

Due to technical issues, the commenting feature of our blog is temporarily unavailable. We’re working to bring this functionality back, and look forward to hearing your feedback and comments about the CFPB’s work soon.