CFPB defends length of proposal combining TILA/RESPA mortgage disclosures


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The CFPB seems to be feeling defensive about the length of its recently-issued proposal that combines the separate application disclosures and the separate closing disclosures required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act into a single application disclosure and a single closing disclosure. 

The CFPB has put a new post on its blog titled “Explainer: Why did it take 1,099 pages to propose a three-page mortgage disclosure?” The post purports to respond to a “Dear CFPB” inquiry from someone identifying him/herself as “Interested in your regulations” who asks “why does it take so many pages to create something that’s supposed to be easy to use and understand?” (CFPB Director Cordray was asked similar questions about the proposal’s length by committee members when he recently testified before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform on the CFPB’s impact on credit access.)

After telling “Dear Interested” that he/she has asked “a great question” and that he/she is “not alone in asking,” the CFPB observes that new regulations were “only a small part” of the proposal and that most of the pages “explain what we are doing and why we are doing it.” The blog post contains a chart that shows how many pages were devoted to each section of the proposal. To explain why a 684-page preamble was needed, the CFPB says that “some of it is required by law,” some was due to the CFPB’s “commitment to open government” and some was to provide context that “can lead to more informative comments.”

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