Materials Offer Consumers Tips on Taking Advantage of New Protections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 18, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a campaign to educate the public about the new protections provided by the Bureau’s mortgage rules. The Bureau is releasing educational materials in advance of the January 10, 2014 effective dates for its mortgage rules.
“Taking on a mortgage may be the largest financial obligation of a consumer’s lifetime,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We want to make sure that potential homebuyers have the information they need to make responsible decisions and that current borrowers know about their new protections.”
The CFPB’s mortgage rules protect consumers from debt traps by requiring mortgage lenders to evaluate whether borrowers can afford to pay back the mortgage before signing them up. The rules also establish new, strong protections for struggling homeowners, including those facing foreclosure. Under the rules, mortgage borrowers will be protected from costly surprises and runarounds by their servicers.
The Bureau is working with industry, housing counselors, and consumer groups to promote a smooth implementation of these rules. Today the Bureau is releasing educational materials to improve the public’s understanding of the new rules and their protections. These materials include:
- Guide for Housing Counselors: This guide is designed to be a quick reference for housing counselors. The CFPB wants to ensure that housing counselors understand the new federal protections so that borrowers can pursue all possible options before beginning the foreclosure process. The CFPB will also be offering training on the rules for housing counselors.
- Mortgage Tips: The CFPB is providing a number of different tips on new rights under the new rules for homebuyers and homeowners at every stage of the mortgage process— from taking out a loan to paying it back. The tips also include recommendations for troubled borrowers facing foreclosure.
- Answers to Consumer Questions: The Bureau has published mortgage-related questions to AskCFPB, an interactive online tool designed to answer consumers’ most frequently asked questions in plain language.
- Consumer Tools: The Bureau’s website offers a tool to help consumers find local housing counseling agencies to answer their questions or address their concerns. Consumers that have an issue with consumer financial products or services, such as a mortgage, can also submit a complaint.
- Factsheets on the Rules: The CFPB has published a factsheet with an overview of all of the new consumer protections in the Bureau’s mortgage rules. The CFPB has also published a summary of the new procedures to facilitate borrowers’ access to foreclosure avoidance options.
These materials can be found at consumerfinance.gov/mortgage. The Bureau will continue to develop and produce materials to educate consumers about the new mortgage protections.