RESPA: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NPRMs in General
Federal agencies issue NPRMs when they want to make a new regulation (rule), or to change or repeal an existing regulation. In general, the NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the official document announcing and explaining the proposed rule, contains a long “preamble” that
* describes what the agency proposes to do
* identifies the legal authority for the proposal
* gives reasons and data for the proposal
* includes certain “regulatory analyses” required by statute or executive order
* invites public comment for a specified period (typically, 30-90 days).
After the preamble, the NPRM usually gives the actual proposed text. For a quick look at how the NPRM fits into the entire rulemaking process, see Learn About Rulemaking.
NPRMs In This Rulemaking
In this rulemaking, there are actually two NPRMs. CFPB is using its authority under 2 different statutes:
- Truth in Lending Act (TILA): TILA, is a federal law that requires lenders to disclose the costs of borrowing to be disclosed to consumers. (TILA covers many kinds of credit, including credit cards and student loans as well as real-estate mortgages.) TILA tries to provide uniform credit terms so that borrowers can compare different credit offers to find the one that best suits their needs.
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). RESPA, is a federal law that regulates how various companies involved in real estate sales can be compensated; some practices (e.g., kickbacks) are banned while others must be disclosed to consumers.
The Dodd-Frank Act is a recent federal law passed in response to the financial and mortgage crises that began around 2007. It created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and gave CFPB the authority to amend the principal regulations that implemented TILA (“Regulation Z”) and RESPA (Regulation X). This gives CFPB broad power to alter both financial relationships within the commercial real estate industry itself, and between industry professionals and credit-seeking consumers.
Although there is a separate NPRM for each statute, the proposals are very interconnected. The Regulation Room team will file a detailed summary of the discussion in both rulemaking records, so commenters don’t have to worry about which is which.
Both NPRMs are very long. To make it easier to browse online, we’ve separated each into five parts.
The RESPA NPRM
RESPA: Preamble – detailed explanation of what CFPB is trying to do and its legal authority for doing it
RESPA: Regulatory Analysis – where CFPB analyzes costs and benefits, impact on small businesses, and paperwork reduction
RESPA: Rule Text – the actual language of the proposed new regulation
RESPA: Forms – the model forms that servicers could use to comply
RESPA: Commentary — official CFPB interpretations that give examples and more detail than in the rule text itself
The Regulation Room team produced this hypertext version of the “2012 Real Estate Settlment Procedures Act (Regulation X) Mortgage Servicing Proposal” NPRM. The text is the same as the official version on the Federal Register.