Thursday, May 01, 2008

RESPA comment by Karen Wiener, Citizens' Housing and Planning Association

Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is a non-profit umbrella
organization for affordable housing and planning activities in Massachusetts.
CHAPA has over 1,500 organizational and individual members, including
homebuyer counselors, lenders, real estate brokers, and a wide array of non-profit
and for-profit organizations. We applaud the proposed RESPA rule, believing it
will have a tremendous impact on increasing borrowers’ understanding of the
process and ability to obtain the best possible loan product.

We particularly support the proposed revision of the GFE and HUD-1, including
the clear language rather than legalese; the sections that clearly depict the loan
details, origination charges, and settlement fees; the comparison chart showing
charges that can and cannot change at closing; the “trade-off table,” and
the “shopping chart.” We also welcome the proposed earlier provision of the GFE
in the process, and the requirement of an oral “closing script” to be read at

These features help educate borrowers and give them the opportunity to
compare “apples to apples” when shopping for a loan. They clearly translate the
yield spread premium into the total service charge for the lender/broker, and offer
borrowers an important tool to help them avoid predatory loans.

In sum, the proposed RESPA rule change would greatly benefit consumers, and
CHAPA strongly supports it.

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