The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a toolkit that guides consumers through the mortgage and homebuying process. It includes an explanation of the changes that take place October 2015, and includes sample forms of the new disclosures – Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure – that must be used.

“The new mortgage disclosure forms coming in August will help consumers comparison shop for mortgages and avoid surprises at the closing table,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We are releasing this toolkit well in advance of the effective date to help the mortgage industry come into compliance with the new rules.”

The toolkit can also help Realtors understand the coming changes.

The Your Home Loan Toolkit can be downloaded online through CFPB’s website.

Using a step-by-step guide format, CFPB says the toolkit is designed to help homebuyers understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what affordable means to them and find their best mortgage. It has interactive worksheets and checklists, conversation starters for discussions between consumers and lenders, and research tips to help consumers find important information.

Going forward, the toolkit will replace an existing booklet that creditors must give to mortgage applicants initially developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The updated toolkit includes the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms effective Aug. 1, 2015. Creditors must give the new toolkit to mortgage applicants as a part of the application process, and CFPB encourages other industry participants, including real estate professionals, to provide it to potential homebuyers.

The toolkit can be downloaded and printed, but CFPB also provides an electronic version with fillable text fields and interactive check boxes so consumers can save and print their progress. The electronic version meets federal accessibility standards to ensure that all consumers, including those with disabilities, can use it.

A Spanish language version will be available later this year.

The CFPB says it’s providing the toolkit well ahead of the August effective date for the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule to give the industry time to order and receive or print the new toolkit, as well as integrate electronic versions into their mortgage origination systems.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

About Brian Heafy

After a 30 year career in the information technology/professional services industry Brian began his second career as a real estate professional in 2012.

Brian began his career in 1982 with the United States Marine Corps as a systems analyst providing software project management and implementation services to Marine Corps Aviation Logistics Squadrons in Iwakuni, Japan and later as a defense contractor assigned as lead technical program manager to the Navy Management Systems Support Office in San Diego.

Brian went on to serve as technology manager for the City of Coral Springs, then joined a publicly traded government (ERP) software and professional services provider in Lake Mary, Florida as VP of the company’s Public Safety & Justice Systems group where he and his teams supported over 450 small, medium and large Police, Fire, Courts and EMS agencies across the U.S. and Caribbean. Brian also served in technology management positions supporting commercial off the shelf software enterprise resource management systems finance and administration application software and public safety and justice systems application software projects for the City of Orlando and Orange County Clerk of Courts.

Brian’s in-depth understanding of governmental operations and contract management is a benefit to his real estate clients, so much of what gets accomplished in today’s real estate industry deals with understanding government databases, brokerage disclosures, banking and governmental regulations each with their own set of established procedures – at all levels of government (local, county, state, federal).

Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Barry University. A Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker and member of the Greater Orlando Regional Realtors Association, member of the Marine Corps Association and former Web Sergeant for the United States Marine Corps League in Orlando, Florida. A native Floridian Brian and his wife Yoshiko have been married over 32 years and have two grown children.