In a September 26, 2011 Federal Register Notice (76 Fed. Reg. 59379), the CFPB announced its intention to conduct various types of research in connection with the development of model form disclosures and that it is requesting a generic clearance approval for such research from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). It also requested comments on certain aspects of its information gathering.  

Specifically, the Bureau announced that the development of the integrated Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”)/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) disclosure will require qualitative testing of the disclosures required by TILA and RESPA during the shopping, application, and origination process. In addition, the CFPB may perform qualitative testing of other model disclosures or materials related to the integrated disclosure – such as instructions for loan originators, tools to assist consumers in understanding the disclosures and loan products and features, and other mortgage-related disclosures – and of industry usability.

The CFPB plans on collecting qualitative data through a variety of collection methods, including interviews, focus groups, and the Internet. It has indicated that the gathered information will “inform the disclosure form’s design and content, using an iterative process to improve the draft form to make it easier for consumers to use the document to identify the terms of the loan, compare among different loan products, and understand the final terms and costs of the loan transaction.” The Bureau has requested comment on the following issues: whether the collection of information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Bureau’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information (including hours and costs); ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents. Comments are due on or before October 26, 2011.