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Piloting disclosures for construction loans

Lenders can now apply to test modified origination disclosures for construction loans to improve consumer understanding of costs and terms.

Today, the CFPB announced that it has approved an application that marks the first step for piloting disclosures for construction loans. Under this program, the CFPB authorizes parameters for in-market testing of alternatives to required disclosures. Real-world disclosure testing is often more accurate than lab testing, and this effort can help the CFPB by informing the need for possible regulatory changes.

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applied under the program for a template covering the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe Disclosures. In particular, the ICBA asked to test certain adjustments to the existing mortgage disclosures in the unique context of construction loans, for which the CFPB’s disclosures were not primarily designed. The application noted that, in particular, many first-time homebuyers in rural areas build their homes instead of buying existing homes, and consequently, the challenges of using the current disclosures in the construction loan context may impact rural areas more acutely. The CFPB solicited comments on the ICBA’s application in February and made a decision to approve the template after reviewing the public feedback.

Individual lenders can apply for approval to test the alternative disclosures for construction loans. In deciding whether to approve individual lender applications, the CFPB will carefully evaluate a lender’s plan to test the effectiveness of these disclosures. The CFPB looks forward to reviewing any lender applications.

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