CFPB Updates Mandatory Mortgage Publications

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On January 10, 2014, the CFPB published a notice in the Federal Register that three mortgage publications lenders are required to provide to borrowers have been revised to reflect certain mortgage rules that went into effect on that date. These publications, which are available on the CFPB’s “Learn More” web page, are: (i) the What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) Brochure; (ii) the Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (CHARM) Booklet; and (iii) the Shopping for Your Home Loan: Settlement Cost Booklet (sometimes called the RESPA Booklet).

  • HELOC Brochure – The CFPB states that this brochure was revised to add a reference to the requirement that lenders must provide borrowers with a list of housing counselors in their area, CFPB contact information, and updates to other Federal agency contact information. It also adds CFPB resources for consumers, including information about how consumers can submit a complaint to the Bureau, a link to the Bureau’s online ‘‘Ask CFPB’’ tool to find answers to questions about mortgages and other financial topics, and a link to an online tool to find local HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.
  • CHARM Booklet – According to the CFPB, these revisions: (i) remove references to certain fees and product types that are no longer permitted, such as prepayment penalties on adjustable-rate mortgages; (ii) add information about the lender’s obligation to consider the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, provide disclosure of interest rate adjustments, and ensure a borrower has received homeownership counseling before making a negative amortization loan; and (iii) add CFPB contact information and resources for consumers and updates to other federal agency contact information.
  • RESPA Booklet – The CFPB explains that this booklet was revised to also add contact information and consumer resources, along with information about new servicing protections for borrowers, including servicer obligations to: (i) respond promptly to consumer requests for information and notices of errors; (ii) provide mortgage payoff statements and monthly billing information; and (iii) contact delinquent consumers regarding options to avoid foreclosure.

The notices states that “[t]hose who provide these publications may, at their option, immediately begin using the revised HELOC Brochure, CHARM Booklet, or Settlement Cost Booklet, or suitable substitutes to comply with the requirements in Regulations X and Z.  The Bureau understands, however, that some may wish to use their existing stock of publications.  Therefore, those who provide these publications may use earlier versions of these publications until existing supplies are exhausted.  When reprinting these publications, the most recent version should be used.”