Know Before You Owe: The settlement professional’s guide

Settlement professionals are integral to real estate transactions. They gather essential data, coordinate transfer of ownership, and orchestrate many of the events leading to the consummation of a loan.

This guide was designed to help settlement professionals navigate through the changes that are a part of the Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative.

The Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative is designed to empower consumers with the information they need to make informed mortgage choices. It includes the implementation of the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, or the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule—sometimes referred to as the “TRID rule.”

Consumers told us that the newly designed Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure make it easier to focus on what is important. The design and language of the forms make the loan terms and loan costs easier to understand and potential errors or problems easier to recognize.

Specific information for you

List of changes

Learn what has and hasn’t changed

One of the most important results of the Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative is the need for closer collaboration between settlement agents and creditors for both to effectively comply with regulatory disclosure requirements. Learn what has and has not changed about settlement agent responsibilities, creditor responsibilities, consumer privacy, and electronic delivery.

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Once you are selected as the settlement agent for the transaction

To help you ensure smooth and on-time closings, we highlight 3 areas you may want to focus upon once you are selected as the settlement agent for the transaction.

Additional resources

As a part of the Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, we have created resources to help you navigate the new disclosures and the new rule.

We have resources to help you understand the rules and their implications as well as links to various other helpful resources, because timely and efficient regulatory implementation of new rules is an important factor in delivering consumer protections to the market.

TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule implementation

Browse our implementation and guidance section

Our interactive sample forms help homebuyers learn what to look out for and what details to double check. They also include definitions for unfamiliar terms.

Explore the guide to the Loan Estimate

Explore the guide to the Closing Disclosure

This step-by-step guide helps your clients define what affordable means to them, understand their credit, and pick the mortgage type and down payment that work for them. It features interactive worksheets and conversation starters designed to deepen their understanding of the mortgage market and their choices.

You are invited to use the toolkit with your business card attached or printed with your logo on the cover. The toolkit is available in two print versions: letter-sized and envelope-sized. It is also available online with interactive features. Print and online versions are available in both Spanish and English.

Consider providing the toolkit to prospective clients. The toolkit provides a starting point that clients can use now and prospective clients can keep for later—along with your contact information—when they are ready to buy.

Download the toolkit, designed for web posting and interactivity

English  | Spanish  

Download the print-ready PDF

Large  | Small  | Spanish  

Pre-order printed copies from the U.S. Government Printing Office

Large  | Small

Download instructions and required disclaimer if you’d like to add your organization’s logo

Instructions  (English only) | English disclaimer | Spanish disclaimer

Ensure smooth and on-time closings with our guide to the new mortgage disclosures and process. This guide will help your clients to know before they owe.

The real estate professional’s guide

The CFPB’s Owning a Home website provides a full suite of online tools and resources for prospective homebuyers. The site empowers homebuyers with an interactive guide to the process of buying a home and finding a mortgage. Supportive tools and resources help people set expectations and think through key decisions such as how much they can afford to spend, which loan option is right for them, what range of interest rates they can expect, and how to ensure a smooth closing.

Consider linking to consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home on your website to position yourself as a trusted source for useful information.