March 17, 2008 

HUD Releases RESPA Reform Proposal-- Comment Period Open

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has just released the long-discussed Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) reform proposal that would make significant changes to the closing process. TLTA was a leading opponent of the originally proposed rule and has continued to remain involved in the process.

The proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 14, 2008, is the product of a three-year revision by HUD to simplify the transaction process and encourage consumer choice. There is a 60-day comment period with comments due to HUD by May 13, 2008. 

Once TLTA has analyzed the 94-page proposal, we will then begin drafting comments to submit to HUD. However, an initial reading of the rule leads us to believe there will be major concerns for the settlement services industry. We urge you to take a close look at the proposed rule; specifically the new four-page Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and HUD-1, as well as the closing script, and provide us with your feedback at mindy@tlta.com. At a later date, we will provide you with talking points and ask you to submit comments to HUD. 

Click here to read the proposed rule.

Click here to read HUD's 590-page economic analysis of the rule.

TLTA supports HUD's efforts to simplify the settlement process and make it more transparent; however we believe the revised rule falls short of this goal. We believe HUD will be urged to adopt and Congress will be pressured to support these changes to RESPA due to the downturn of the real estate market; therefore it is very important for TLTA and its members to remain engaged and mobilized.