HUD reviving efforts to reform rules on mortgage


July 03, 2005|By Bloomberg News

HUD reviving efforts to reform rules on mortgage lending

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is reviving efforts to reform mortgage-lending rules to make loan costs more transparent.

The agency plans to hold six meetings from July 14 to Aug. 18 seeking public and industry comments on reforms to a 30-year-old consumer-protection law known as Respa, the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, Jackson said. Americans spend $55 billion on closing costs a year, according to a HUD statement.

HUD has been trying for three years to reform Respa. Jackson withdrew the agency's prior proposal in 2004 after legislators, consumers and industry groups said it would give unfair advantages to big lenders like Countrywide Financial Corp., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Washington Mutual Inc.

Home sales in 2005 are expected to top 8 million for the first time, which would make it the fifth record-setting year.

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