Congress directed the CFPB to enact a rule that would combine mandatory mortgage-related Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) consumer disclosures into one “single integrated disclosure” (SID). The CFPB issued the SID rule at the end of 2013, with an effective date of August 1, 2015. Already, nearly ten months have passed since the final rule was published and the time for implementation is approaching at the halfway point. It may seem like quite a while yet, but there is the realization that the SID rule poses the most difficult implementation challenges of any of the CFPB’s residential mortgage rules. Thusfar, the CFPB has issued a good deal of compliance guidance, including written guides for preparing the SID forms, a Small Entity Compliance Guide and many sample SID forms with completion suggestions. The CFPB also has conducted a couple of webinars, on very general SID topics, and another webinar is scheduled for October 1, 2014. However, the industry is growing anxious for more guidance from the agency, which is quite similar to what occurred in the lead up to the RESPA disclosure reform of 2010. With SID, as was the case with previous mortgage disclosure reform, the devil is in the details. Quite narrow, heavily-fact dependent interpretations of situations that are not dealt with directly in the rules will drive the difference between compliance and non-compliance. Thusfar, the CFPB has not shared its plans for providing uniform guidance at this granular level.
A large number of financial services trade groups sent a letter to the CFPB dated September 16, 2014, urging the CFPB to expand its support of industry transition to the new forms and respond to specific needs of creditors, settlement service providers and parties to real estate transactions. The letter urges the CFPB to provide written authoritative guidance, tackling a host of commonly-identified SID implementation topics. The letter can be found here.
All participants in the mortgage lending and settlement process await hearing more form the CFPB about additional implementation aids for the SID rule.