Diane - your support of these changes is based upon the assumption that
the vast majority of consumers will exercise their right to shop. If
they shop, they will create a competitive marketplace, and therefore the
rules changes will work. Your fundamental assumption is flawed and
therefore your analysis of the rules is flawed also.
This isn't about power of referral or the consumer, it’s about
motivation. Your faith in consumer's motivation to shop is misplaced.
Take autos, for example. High value, important purchase. There is a
vast amount of credible and useful information available to consumers
that they could use to make an informed decision. Yet, as any auto
dealer will tell you, the vast majority fail to use the information and
walk right into the dealer to make a purchase.
Do you think that real estate services, with less credible shopping
information and a lower frequency of use, are somehow going to radically
different? If you think so, why?
There will always be a segment of consumers who shop, but I can't see
them being the majority. Without the majority of consumers shopping
there won’t be a significant enough marketplace for competition. Without competition the RESPA reforms become toxic to everyone but the
large lenders and affiliates.