New RESPA Rules Start January 1, 2010

December 30, 2009

Source: Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune

The government hopes that the revamped Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, will make it easier for home buyers to understand what's going on at closing.

While some industry professionals are enthusiastic, others are dubious that these new regulations will really clear the fog.

"I think the net result is that it will cost consumers more because it will discourage shopping," said Hank Shulroff, senior vice president at Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund. "The early disclosures are more transparent, but in the end the consumer is going to have less information about what it is they actually purchased, especially as it relates to title services."

Jeri Lynn Fox, president of the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals, finds the new procedures more, rather than less, confusing. "Whenever you have confused consumers, isn't that when the opportunity for them to be taken advantage of comes up?" she asks.

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