Politics & MoneyMortgage

CFPB: Mortgage Rate Checker here to stay

Despite industry criticism, bureau stands by Know Before You Owe

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled its new borrower education tool on Tuesday, and it immediately came under fire because it mentions rates and costs without including disclosure items TILA-RESPA rules and the CFPB mandate for borrowers – annual percentage rate, closing fees, etc.

Basically, mortgage bankers said that if the Rate Checker were a lender advertisement or mortgage calculator, it would violate the CFPB’s disclosure rules.

“It sets borrowers up for severe disappointment,” David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, told HousingWire on Wednesday. “It should be taken down.”

The CFPB’s response, in a note to HousingWire, seems pretty unequivocal – it’s not coming down.

“The Rate Checker is an educational tool, and part of a larger suite of tools to help consumers be more informed and effective mortgage shoppers. The Rate Checker does not connect consumers with lenders,” a spokesperson for CFPB told HousingWire.

“As explained on the website, interest is only one of many costs associated with getting a mortgage. Before making a final decision, consumers should compare Good Faith Estimates from multiple lenders, which include all of these costs,” the spokesperson said.

“In August, the new Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure forms will make it even easier for consumers to compare the costs and features of different loans and choose the deal that’s best for them.”

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