Mortgage Closings to Get Easier in 2015?

April 30, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working to improve the closing process, in response to a new report showing the biggest challenges borrowers face when finalizing a mortgage. According to the report, borrowers are confused and frustrated by the paperwork and feel they don’t have enough time to review closing documents before having to sign them. In January, the agency asked borrowers to chime in with the challenges they face during the closing process.

The CFPB plans to make changes to the closing process by next summer. In August 2015, buyers are to receive new closing disclosures at least three business days before closing, according to the CFPB’s new requirements. The disclosures are intended to be easier for borrowers to understand by providing them more time to ask questions and compare costs.

Scott Sheldon, senior loan officer and consumer advocate in California, says that under new compliance laws, lenders won’t be able to change anything in the closing documents at the last minute any longer either. "Things don't change at the 11th hour anymore," Sheldon says. "Those disclosures are very technical, in a sense, but ... as long as [the buyers] know their purchase price, their interest rate, their terms, their monthly payment, their cash to close — they should be focused on those things."

The CFPB is also launching an "eClosing" pilot program, testing out electronic mortgage closings in the hopes of providing consumers more time to review mortgage documents prior to closing and making it easier for borrowers to spot any errors beforehand.

Source: “Closing on a Mortgage Is About to Get Much Simpler,” (April 29, 2014)

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