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Know Before You Owe: Mortgage Disclosures


This article provides information on 2015's rules for mortgage disclosures. This material is adapted from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


What happened?

If you applied for a mortgage on or after October 3, 2015, the new disclosures are required for most mortgages. For most kinds of mortgages, you will have three business days to review your Closing Disclosure before you close. This rule is a part of our Bureau-wide Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative. We are working to make the costs and risks of financial products and services clearer, so you can make better, more informed decisions.

What’s the rule?

The Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, which was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, combines the required federal disclosures for most mortgages. It also requires lenders to give you your Closing Disclosure three business days before you close. This three-day period gives you time to understand the terms of your loan, compare it to the Loan Estimate you were given, and ask your advisors or lender any questions.

What are the disclosures?

The disclosures are forms that you get when you work with a lender to get a mortgage. These forms are required to help you understand the terms of your mortgage before accepting them. If you applied for a mortgage before October 3, 2015, you would have received a Good Faith Estimate and an initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure. Now, for most mortgages, you will get a Loan Estimate within three business days of submitting an application. At least three business days before you close, you will also get a Closing Disclosure. It contains a summary of the final terms of your loan. This form replaces the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and final Truth-in-Lending disclosure forms for most mortgages.

Why did you change the forms?

For more than 30 years, federal law has required lenders to provide two different disclosure forms to consumers applying for a mortgage and two different disclosure forms to consumers before they close on a mortgage. Two different agencies developed these forms since Congress first mandated them, and they had a lot of overlapping information. The two new forms, the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure, combine information and mirror each other, so you can easily compare the terms you were given on the Loan Estimate with the terms on the Closing Disclosure. We tested them with consumers, lenders, and other mortgage professionals and found that the new forms help people better understand their mortgage terms and make it easier for people to find the information they need.

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