by Tom Salomone, 2016 NAR President
This time last year, everyone in our industry was talking about the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule. Also known as “Know Before You Owe,” the new rule meant new forms were coming to consumers – and with them, big changes to the mortgage process.
The idea was to make financing a home more transparent for consumers, aiding comparison shopping and preventing surprises at the closing table.
NAR worked hard in advance of the rule to ensure a clear path to success. We pushed for an implementation date that avoided the busy buying-and-selling season, and worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to roll out an online toolkit that walked consumers through the new disclosures.
Now six months into implementation, the industry is moving forward. There are still challenges to address, with Realtors® reporting some delayed and a few even cancelled transactions. That’s no surprise, and NAR said from the beginning that there would be bumps in the road and we continue to work with the CFPB to provide additional clarity in order to smooth out those bumps
But more and more we’re also hearing from brokers and agents who see “Know Before You Owe” rules putting consumers in the driver’s seat and helping avoid problems at the closing table. In an op-ed at Banker and Tradesman, broker/owner Anthony Lamacchia had this to say:
“While the extra time has certainly helped alleviate closing delays, the real reason is that, due to TRID, everyone is working together in a more proactive fashion. It had a trickledown effect; Realtors have been asked to negotiate longer closing dates, buyers are reminded more often to get their mortgage brokers what they want, when they want it. Real estate attorneys are contacting each other sooner and working together by pulling title earlier and doing whatever they can to be prepared for closing. Buyers seeing their numbers earlier has prevented last-minute freak-outs and fire drills, which in turn decreases closing delays. Now when there is a problem or a question, it is worked out days in advance instead of the morning of or even at the closing.”
That’s the kind of optimism and can-do spirit that I like to see as the industry continues to adjust.
We know there will continue to be short-term challenges, but the average consumer doesn’t spend their time thinking about regulatory constraints the way we do. They simply want a smooth ride on the road to homeownership.
As an industry, we have the tools and the talent to deliver. As professionals, that’s what we do.