New CFPB toolkit helps consumers shop for mortgage, house

March 31, 2015
WASHINGTON (4/1/15)--A new mortgage-shopping toolkit that includes forms that will be required starting Aug. 1 has been released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Creditors must provide the toolkit to mortgage applicants as a part of the application process, and the CFPB encourages other industry participants, including real estate professionals, to provide it to potential homebuyers.

The new toolkit is designed to replace an existing one that creditors are currently required to provide to mortgage applicants.

The bureau's new Truth-in-Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (TILA-RESPA) integrated disclosure rule includes new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that lenders must provide starting Aug. 1.
According to the CFPB, the new toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to help consumers understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what affordable means to them and find their best mortgage.
It consists of interactive worksheets, checklists, conversation starters for discussions between consumers and lenders and research tips to help consumers seek out and find important information.
The toolkit can be printed and filled out, but also includes fillable text fields and interactive check boxes in the electronic version. A Spanish language version will also be made available later in 2015.
The CFPB says the release of the toolkit now is intended to give the mortgage industry time to order and receive or print the new toolkit and integrate electronic versions into their mortgage origination systems.