On November 20, 2013, the CFPB finalized its long-awaited rule combining the mortgage disclosures consumers receive under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). For more than 30 years, the TILA and RESPA mortgage disclosures had been administered separately by, respectively, the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) transferred authority over TILA and RESPA to the Bureau and directed the Bureau to create “rules and model disclosures that combine the disclosures required under [TILA] and sections 4 and 5 of [RESPA], into a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions covered by those laws.”2 Congress did not, however, amend TILA and RESPA provisions governing timing, responsibility, and liability for the disclosures, leaving it to the Bureau to resolve the inconsistencies.
Unlike the Bureau’s other Dodd-Frank Act mortgage rules, Congress did not impose a January 2013 deadline for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. Nevertheless, from the outset, the Bureau made the project the public centerpiece of its rulemaking efforts, announcing its commencement in December 2010 and releasing the first prototype disclosures for public comment in conjunction with the beginning of consumer testing in May 2011. Over the next twelve months, the Bureau released nine additional sets of prototype disclosures, conducted nine additional rounds of testing, and convened its first Small Business Review Panel, culminating in the release of the proposed rule in July 2012. Following the proposal, the Bureau conducted additional testing and developed Spanish-language and refinancing versions of the disclosures.
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