Consumer Protection and Closing your purchase/sale

I think we all realize that after the debacle of the housing bubble and melt-down of the mortgage industry in 2007 some major changes needed to happen. I have seen 2 implemented already and a 3rd is just about to be rolled out.

The first two were 1) tighter lending regulations that force a buyer to actually prove that they are qualified for a mortgage, and 2) tighter appraisal regulations that force appraisers to factually prove the value of a house.

The 3rd is designed to protect the mortgage borrower. Essentially what it does is it forces lenders to be accurate from the beginning so that a borrower does not run into any surprises at closing. It also builds in waiting periods so that a borrower has time to reflect upon the costs of their new mortgage and not be pressured into a loan that will not serve them well.

The first deadline occurs when a loan application is made. Within 3 days of the application the borrower(s) must receive a Loan Estimate, coming to be called an “LE”. Then, 3 days prior to signing their loan documents the borrower(s) must receive a Closing Disclosure, coming to be called a “CD”. The costs comparing the 2 documents must be within 1/8th (.0125) of the APR, annual percentage rate. If there is an overage, it is the fault of the lender and must be paid by the lender. This way the borrower is not going to be Oswego-Lakesurprised by unexpected loan costs and their experience should be less stressful.

Be aware that this system is going to create delays in closing on a purchase.

The biggest issue is that changes happen in a transaction. The sales price might change as a result of repair issues, the borrower may decide they want a different loan product, any number of changes can happen. In the past when this happened the loan application could simply be modified. There was lots of flexibility in the process. With the new regulations when this happens now essentially a new loan is applied for and the waiting periods begin again.

It is normal when you are buying a home to be excited to get into it. It is especially normal when selling a home to want to close as quickly as you can to know it is final and to receive your proceeds. Closing in 30-45 days has been the practice. With the new guidelines I believe closings will take at least an additional week or two. So plan on closings in 45-60 days, if not more.

The other issue is that mortgage companies and banks are being given all of the same regulations but are being allowed to determine their own methods for implementing them. It is very specific that both the LE and the CD go to all parties. I learned in a recent class I took on the matter that some of the larger lenders are thinking about using the US Postal service to send the notifications. Seriously? What if one of the parties is out of the country? Talk about creating delays. Flexibility will be the name of the game as these changes are implemented.

As a buyer and as a seller, please avoid the blame game. If these new regulations do create delays, don’t blame the other party to the transaction. They have no control over this and there are going to be kinks as Realtors, Title Companies, and Mortgage Companies implement systems and iron out the kinks.

Last, if you happen to have a home that is at least 3200 square feet, newer, with at least a 3 car garage that you want to sell here in LO, call me! I have a buyer who has seen everything out that and is chomping at the bit!