HUD Passes RESPA Reform, New GFE Coming in 2010

Now I know that true miracles happen. We have all been waiting for RESPA reform for as long as I’ve been in the industry, which has been over 25 years.  Here’s what the new Good Faith Estimate will look like.  Everyone has all of 2009 to get their systems ready because the new form won’t go into effect until Jan of 2010.  The winds of change are blowing in favor of more consumer protection and more duties owed to the consumer by retail mortgage lenders.  Didn’t I just say this was going to happen? From HUD:

Brian Montgomery, HUD’s Assistant Secretary of Housing, Federal Housing Commissioner, said, “We have carefully considered the concerns expressed from every corner of the mortgage market in developing this rule. I am convinced that we successfully balanced the needs of consumers with those in the business of homeownership. None of us can lose sight of the fact that millions of Americans simply don’t understand all the fine print of their mortgages and this, in many respects, is at the heart of today’s mortgage crisis.”

Since 1974, little has changed about the process Americans endure when they buy and refinance their homes. Now, HUD’s final reform will improve disclosure of the key loan terms and closing costs consumers pay when they buy or refinance their home.

What I like about the new three page Good Faith Estimate (GFE):

Page 1:
Important Dates: “your interest rate may change” notice
Loan Summmary: Easy, plain language, Yes or No explanations
Page 2:
Understanding Estimate Charges: explains credits better than most verbal explanations I’ve heard over the past year.
Breaks down other charges that the homeowner can shop for, in order to receive a lower fee
Page 3:
Further explains pages one and two and makes it crystal clear what charges can and cannot change at closing. 

What I do not like about the new GFE:

Where’s the Yield Spread Premium (YSP)? 

Some state laws may not comport with this new federal law and will have to be revised, hence the year waiting period before we begin using the new form.

Housing Wire HUD Revises RESPA Rules
HUD Press Release

FHA Secure: A Political Power Move Disguised as a Helping Hand to Those in Need

Bush offered America some presidential words this morning to let us know he’s on top of this whole subprime meltdown, credit crunch, liquidity crisis. On his agenda: An FHA bailout in the form of a new feel good loan program: FHA Secure. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect back on how well HUD is currently doing. First of all, in order to originate an FHA loan, the stack of paperwork, hoops to jump through, policies and procedures, exceptions to the policies and procedures, and updates to the policies and procedures, are, shall we say, astronomical, and I’m just talking about qualifying the applicant, let alone underwriting and the appraisal process.

One reason (of many) why brokers pushed subprime loans was because the borrower who qualified for an FHA loan couldn’t get that loan with a broker. Why? Because it also takes an enormous amount of effort for a mortgage broker to become an FHA-approved lender. It’s the small details that really count to HUD, such as annual HUD audits, net worth requirements, submitting audited financial statements, presenting a quality control and compliance plan, and paying your loan originators as W-2 employees. Many brokers pay LOs as 1099 workers. For some small to medium sized broker firms, it was a business decision: make more money selling subprime and leave the hassle of originating FHA loans to the banks. “See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya