CFPB Sends Industry Letter on Know Before You Owe Mortgage Disclosure Rule Compliance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday sent a letter to mortgage industry trade groups regarding the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, which becomes effective October 3. The rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, requires easier-to-use mortgage disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage for a borrower.

As the letter states, the mortgage industry has needed to make significant systems and operational changes to adjust to the requirements of the rule, and that implementation requires extensive coordination with third parties. The letter also notes that the mortgage industry has dedicated substantial resources to understand the requirements, adapt systems, and train affected personnel, and additional technical and other questions are likely to be identified once the new forms are used in practice after the effective date.

During initial examinations for compliance with the rule, the Bureau’s examiners will evaluate an institution’s compliance management system and overall efforts to come into compliance, recognizing the scope and scale of changes necessary for each supervised institution to achieve effective compliance. Examiners will expect supervised entities to make good faith efforts to comply with the rule’s requirements in a timely manner. Specifically, examiners will consider: the institution’s implementation plan, including actions taken to update policies, procedures, and processes; its training of appropriate staff; and, its handling of early technical problems or other implementation challenges.

This is similar to the approach the Bureau took in initial examinations for compliance with the mortgage rules that became effective at the beginning of January 2014. The Bureau’s experience at that time was that institutions did make good faith efforts to comply and were typically successful in doing so.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.