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Know Before You Owe: Weigh in now!


In May, 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. Since then, you’ve responded with more than 18,000 comments, and we’ve listened.

Today, we’re asking for your input once again. 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?

Know Before You Owe graphic that links to Feedback Tool

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 Monday, August 8th 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!



    • Kim Triece

      Not all lenders have an appraisal management fee.  We don’t.  I don’t think they are misleading the public.

      • Mik

        If you don’t have an appraisal management fee, why would you not want your customer to know that?  The integrity of every mortgage is dependent upon full disclosure.  Put EVERY fee in every mortgage disclosure or don’t bother with the form at all.

  • Ljohn

    ummmm…why does this website take so much time to load? doesn’t give me much confidence this is a 21st century agency.

  • SW

    The industry tool on your website is not working–please fix it.  I liked the Camellia Savings Bank disclosure better, it shows the cost of each item instead of lumping groups of items together.  However, I don’t agree with the section under “Loan Terms” and “Loan Amount” where it states that the loan amount cannot increase after closing.  Actually, if the borrower fails to pay items that are required under the note and mortgage, such as property taxes, then the lender will have to pay the property taxes to protect its lien on the property.  If the lender pays the borrower’s property taxes, then this will be added to the principal.  I think the borrower will become confused if you tell them that the loan amount cannot increase after closing, when there are situations where a loan amount actually can increase.

  • Vegan12

    What a joke.  Website doesn’t work and pages won’t load.  Government waste in action.. 
    Do you believe that any consumers actually read these documents before signing or at a closing?  If these were the only ones, maybe they would, but with a 15 page deed of trust (Thanks FNMA), servicing disclosures, FACT Act disclosures, note, TIL, HUD and numerous others, there is no one that reads them. 
    Thanks for saving all the consumers Ms. Warren….  Don’t know what we’d do without you.

    • Common Sense

      Maybe we would lend more money, at lower rates.  But wait, Dodd-Frank does not increase the cost or reduce the availability of credit, per Mr. Frank on CNBC.

  • Djm8001

    I received e-mail asking me to review the latest draft.  Where can I review it.   When I click on the picture of the form it sends me back to the Thank you page.  Will not open. Sorry.

  • Marvin Hudson

    Like another person who posted, I too received an email asking for my input after reviewing the new versions of the draft. However, I’ve spent the past twenty minutes unsuccessfully searching the website for the draft(s) to review.

  • High Plains Banker

    My thanks to CFPB for actually moving to simplify this process. I expected this to result in a more complex document no a simpler one. So if this actually happens I thank you.
    No for the other side of the issue. If the instructions tolerences and timetables for preparing and completing the form are not as equally certain and simple you will have made the overall situation worse not better. I learned a long time ago that in the matter of government disclosures the definitions procedures calculations etc. in preparing a form were more important than the form itself. If the CFPB is truly intent to make this situtation better for the consumer it will work harder on the procedures for completing this form than it has on the form itself.  

  • David Whitcomb

    I’m not so worried about individual fees being broken out, althought I do prefer Camellia Savings Bank’s forms on this round because of the ability to do some itemization.  My biggest concern with the new form is that it not only breaks from the current GFE’s letter/number box structure but that the HUD1 will have to be re-created as well.  I’ve said it before – I think this re-work is a great thing for borrower’s and for disclosure in general, but I’m most concerned about fitting regulations to meet a form, and lenders and brokers being futher limited and penalized for things like transfer tax underdisclosure.

    My biggest hang-up on the new forms is the Loan Terms section where Monthly Loan Payment is disclosed.  Why couldn’t they put the estimate Taxes and Hazard Insurance payment in that box?  If I look at the disclosure, I think the $940.72 amount is well disclosed, unfortunately, it’s not until I read the projected payments section that I find out that my actual monthly payment is now $1250/month.  How about an inital payment section with a projected payment section that applies if the loan is an adjustable rate or interest only.

    I think the CFPB is something that we’ll have to deal with, so we need to offer constructive feedback.  It appears that they are trying to take feedback into account. How many times have we been given a reg and a form, submitted feedback, and not had any return, other than a potential reg change, but no change to any forms?  I’m pretty sure that after the email was sent, every lender or broker who’s on their email list clicked the link and bogged down their server.  The CFPB should have anticipated this and staggered their emails to prevent overloading the website.  It works now, so we can still give feedback.

    • Kk2825

      Totally agree with you about the Monthly Mortgage Payment.   They should either say Monthly Principal and Interest, or show the actual Monthly Mortgage Payment including the taxes and insurance.  Otherwise the total monthly payment amount is hidden.

      Definitely prefer the Camellia form.

    • David Inman

      I agree regarding the monthly payments, my comments here:

  • CJH

    I whole-heartedly agree with High Plains Banker – the devil is in the detail. We’ve all been burned by HUD by trying to complete the 2010 GFE – does one follow the law, the regulation, the form instructions, or the Q&As? The assumptions relied upon were flawed and did not take into consideration basic “portfolio-lender” pricing and underwriting practices.

    Neither form example actually includes all of the required TIL & RESPA early disclosure points. (For example, under current Reg Z, a simple 30 year fixed with PMI is going to have a minimum of 3 payment streams.) How many more pages will need to be added? Will the CFPB try to squeeze the other requirements into the two-page example? I guess my point is that the goal of reducing the number of pages of required disclosures is not going to be met unless the regulations are overhauled first.

    Yes, you bought a great looking horse, but will it pull the overloaded wagon uphill?

    [Comments made herein are those of the author and do not reflect the position of his employer]

  • Outside looking in

    Under Loan Terms – neither form includes a statement as to the possibility of an ARM?

  • Billye Purdy

    I like the Azalea Savings Bank disclosures better but tried to print copies of both for comparison for my co-workers but the Camellia Savings Bank version did not print and I am not able to get back into the site to re-print it.  How can I get a copy of the other sample disclosure? 

    Billye Purdy

  • Monten23

    Also, while paying by credit, besides than mortrage fees, there may be some annual fees for loans and lendings

The CFPB blog aims to facilitate conversations about our work. We want your comments to drive this conversation. Please be courteous, constructive, and on-topic. To help make the conversation productive, we encourage you to read our comment policy before posting. Comments on any post remain open for seven days from the date it was posted.