HUD ANNOUNCES NEW RESPA OUTREACH CAMPAIGN Live interactive online presentations designed to offer ‘plain English’ on a host of compliance issues
WASHINGTON – In an effort to address industry concerns about how to implement new mortgage rules due to take full effect on January 1st, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a series of live interactive online presentations intended to increase readiness among mortgage professionals.
“We’ve been working overtime to answer questions and provide training to as many organizations as we can,” said David Stevens, HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner. “On the eve of these new requirements, I want to accelerate our focus with a heavy dose of plain English and customer service to help the industry prepare.”
Beginning today, HUD will participate in a series of live online presentations to explore RESPA’s new requirements. Led by Vicki Bott, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing, the online meetings are also intended to allow industry professionals to ask questions about implementing the new rules.
The following is the current schedule of HUD’s live online presentations*:
December 3rd at 2 p.m.
December 7th at 11 a.m.
December 10th at 2 p.m.
December 11th at 11 a.m.
December 16th at 1p.m.
*NOTE: For those who cannot participate in any of the scheduled live presentations, a pre-recorded webcast will be offered on HUD’s website shortly. Media interested in viewing these presentations should contact HUD’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 708-0685 for precise instructions on accessing these online meetings.
Since HUD issued its final rule to improve the mortgage settlement process on November 17, 2008, the agency has participated in more than 60 industry forums designed to assist mortgage professionals in complying with the regulatory requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). In addition, HUD has published more than 250 frequently asked questions to answer many of the mortgage industry’s specific compliance issues. Today’s announcement builds on the Department’s commitment to assist consumers and industry organizations in adopting modern standards that will improve the manner in which American families purchase homes and refinance mortgage loans.
On January 1, 2010, HUD will require that lenders and mortgage brokers provide consumers with a standard Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs. Closing agents will also be required to provide borrowers a new HUD-1 Settlement Statement that clearly compares consumers’ final and estimated costs. The new RESPA rule became effective on January 16, 2009, but provided a one-year transition period for the mortgage industry to incorporate these changes. HUD will continue to work with the mortgage industry during this period, including providing a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on its website.
In addition to the stepped up training and technical assistance announced today, HUD is instructing its Mortgagee Review Board (MRB) to exercise restraint in enforcing RESPA’s new requirements for 120-days. The MRB instructed its staff to exercise such restraint in considering an action against FHA-approved lenders who demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with RESPA’s new requirements.
HUD is also asking other federal and state enforcement agencies to exercise the same 120-day restraint in enforcement for non-FHA originators and other settlement service providers who demonstrate good faith in implementing RESPA’s new rules. In determining whether a mortgagee has made a good faith effort, MRB staff will consider whether the mortgagee has relied on the new RESPA rule and other written guidance issued by the Department, and the extent to which the mortgagee has made sufficient investment and commitment in technology, training, and quality control designed to comply with the new rule.HUD still expects all loan originators to begin using the new GFE and revised HUD-1 after January 1, 2010.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.