WASHINGTON-The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said its proposed revisions to mortgage disclosure forms, part of its "Know Before You Owe" mortgage project, includes the following changes:
* The new forms are simpler. The agency said its proposed changes mean consumers can understand and compare different mortgages more effectively, and examine their estimated and final terms and costs more easily, helping them make the right decisions for themselves and their families.
* Important information is highlighted, including Interest rates, monthly payments, the loan amount, and closing costs, all of which appear on the first page of the proposed form. The CFPB further said that first page explains how the interest rates, payments, and loan amount might change over the life of the loan, while more info is available on how taxes, insurance, and other property costs can affect the total cost.
*Improved warnings related to risk. The CFPB said its new forms provide clearer warnings over potential risks such as prepayment penalties and negative amortizations, while also making estimates more reliable. In addition, said CFPB, its proposal that lenders keep electronic copies of forms they give to consumers mean that compliance questions can more easily be addressed.
*Caps on closing cost increases. The CFBP said it is proposing restrictions on the circumstances under which consumers can be required to pay more for settlement services than the amount stated on their Loan Estimate.
* Reducing risky features. The CFPB said it is seeking to ban risky features, such as mortgages that qualify as high-cost based on their interest rates, points and fees, or prepayment penalties. It is seeking to generally ban balloon payments and fees for modifying loans, while capping late fees and restricting the charging of fees when consumers ask for a payoff statement.
* Some To Get Counseling. The CFPB proposal would require housing counseling for high-cost mortgages and would implement TILA counseling requirements for first-time borrowers taking out certain mortgage loans that permit negative amortization.