In November 2013, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) combined various federal mortgage disclosures that lenders are required to provide to consumers when obtaining a mortgage, creating what is known as the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative. The purpose of Know Before You Owe is to provide simpler disclosures that will make it easier for consumers to understand and to compare multiple loan offers. Lenders are required to begin providing these new disclosure forms to consumers beginning on October 3, 2015.

On September 17, 2015, in anticipation of the approaching kick-off to Know Before You Owe, the CFPB released new online tools intended to help consumers navigate the mortgage process by (i) providing a step-by-step overview of the mortgage process; (ii) assisting potential homebuyers in determining the amount they can afford on a mortgage; and (iii) familiarizing consumers with the new Know Before You Owe mortgage forms.

The newly added tools include an addition to CFPB’s previously released “Owning a Home” site, which was originally designed to assist consumers with the home buying process. The new tools help “consumers decide if owning a home is the right choice, understand what they need to do to get a mortgage, find the best offer, and close the deal.”

The CFPB’s press release detailing the new Know Before You Owe tools can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-releases-new-owning-a-home-tools-to-help-consumers-shop-for-a-mortgage/.

The CFPB’s “Owning a Home” site containing the newly added tools can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home.

More on CFPB’s Know Before You Owe initiative can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe/.