Notary Bulletin

Public To CFPB: Borrowers Need More Time To Review Loan Documents

By David Thun

Consumers, industry professionals and Notaries, among other voices, have suggested to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that borrowers need more time before a loan signing to review the loan documents.

The comments came during the CFPB’s recent call for feedback on improving the home mortgage process. The agency asked for public feedback in its ongoing effort to protect consumers by identifying and remedying borrower’s key “pain points” during mortgage closings.

Amid the responses, one homeowner from New York complained that he had discovered an error on his loan during the closing, but was told that he had no choice but to accept it or delay the closing.

“If there were ever a single regulation that would help alleviate buyer aggravation, fee manipulation, and last-minute errors, it would be to require that the HUD-1 closing statement be delivered to the buyer a minimum of five business days prior to the closing.” he wrote.

“Those who have reviewed the documents before closing and had an opportunity to ask questions appear significantly more empowered and confident,” said a signing agent from California. “Those that have not received document copies before the closing usually did not know that they could/should have received them, and often complain that they did not have the opportunity for review.”

“Allowing consumers to see their documents ahead of time and reduce the paperwork,” another commenter from a title agency posted when asked what she would change about the closing process to make it better for consumers.

Other suggestions made by respondents included:

-Improve communication between the lender and borrower

-Simplify and reduce the number of documents in the loan package

-Do not provide the documents for a closing appointment at the last minute

The CFPB originally posted their request for feedback on Jan. 3. Public responses are available to read here.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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