Scheduled publication dates of CFPB mortgage proposals leave little time for comments

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[author: Richard J. Andreano, Jr.,]

Although two major CFPB mortgage proposals were released on July 9, one of those proposals is not scheduled to be published in the Federal Register until August 15 and the other not until August 23

The proposal scheduled for publication on August 15 is the one that would broaden the scope of mortgages that would be viewed as “high cost” and therefore subject to special disclosure requirements under Regulation Z (TILA). Comments on the proposal must be submitted by September 7. 

The CFPB proposal to be published on August 23 is the one that deals with consolidating the application and closing disclosures required by TILA and RESPA. Comments on the consolidated disclosures and related requirements are due by November 6. However, comments on two other aspects of the proposal are due much earlier—by September 7. Those two aspects deal with delaying the effective date for certain disclosures required by Dodd-Frank (that are contained in proposed amendments to Regulation Z) and expanding  the fees that are included in the calculation of the finance charge and annual percentage rate. 

The CFPB filed the TILA/RESPA consolidated disclosure proposal with the Federal Register on August 6 and it filed the “high cost” mortgage proposal on August 7. However, the “high cost” proposal is scheduled to be published eight days before the TILA/RESPA proposal. Perhaps the model disclosure forms included with the TILA/RESPA proposal and the number of Federal Register pages that will need to be devoted to that proposal (which was nearly 1,100 pages) are factors in the order and timing of the publication dates. 

The short time frames between formal publication and the comment deadline for the “high cost” proposal (23 days ) and the initial comment deadline for the TILA/RESPA proposal (15 days) are likely to trigger calls to extend the comment deadlines. We think that notwithstanding the posting of the proposals on the CFPB’s website, such short time frames are not consistent with the CFPB’s stated commitment to transparency.