Consumer Financial Protection Bureau holds first open forum to discuss policy
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau held the first in a series of upcoming forums today to discuss the simplification of mortgage disclosure forms. The bureau seeks input on a way to make forms easier for borrowers to understand so they can make financial choices that better suit their lifestyle, according to a press release. "Fine print obscures the cost of credit and makes it impossible for families to compare products," said Elizabeth Warren, newly appointed assistant to the president and special advisor to the Treasury secretary. "This is particularly true in the mortgage market, where borrowers receive stacks of incomprehensible paperwork when they're looking for a loan." Disclosure forms outline a borrowers income, assets, and employment status among other things to verify eligibility for a loan. The CFPB is tasked with combining and simplifying two specific forms under the Truth in Lending Act of 1968 and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974. The forms overlap in some areas, but have remained separate since their origination. Today's forum included consumer-advocacy groups, housing counselors, financial-literacy experts and mortgage companies. Warren and Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner lead the forum. Write to Christine Ricciardi.