Home > 2011 > Mortgages > Watchdog Unveils Simplified Mortgage Forms

Watchdog Unveils Simplified Mortgage Forms

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 2 Comments

If you’ve ever gotten a mortgage, you know that the forms that came with it are basically impossible to read. Particularly savvy or wealthy homebuyers may hire a lawyer to review the documents, but for most people the process of signing their mortgage is merely a blind blur of flipped paper and swooshing pens.

Ever since it was created just over a year ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has talked about simplifying that morass. The bureau took the next step in that process last week by releasing two prototypes for simplified mortgage forms to the public and requesting consumers’ comments on them both.

[Article: Report – Home Values May Be Bottoming Out]

Both forms contain the same information, and for the first four pages they are identical. The only difference is that one form crams loan disclosures, calculations and receipt confirmation onto one page, where the other form splits those details into two pages.

Oh, and then there are the names. The five-page prototype is called “Hornbeam.” The six-page version is called “Ironwood.” We thought that sounded awfully fancy, especially for a bureaucratic agency, which usually label things with such singsong names as “Form A” and “Form B.”

[Resource: Get your free Credit Report Card]

Who are these tony Hornbeam and Ironwood characters? The authors of the different forms? The country clubs where each form was hashed out? We bugged the CFPB with these pressing questions, so we’ll let you know what they tell us.

What the bureau’s interim director Raj Date did say in a press release about the new prototypes: “Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a consumer can make. Our goal is to help make the costs and risks clear at all stages of the mortgage process—from shopping for a mortgage to signing on the dotted line.”

To participate in the bureau’s test-run of the forms, check out its website here. You can download both forms, and vote for your favorite by clicking on the green button at the bottom.

[Featured Product: Need a loan?]

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • http://www.21stmortgage.org/ 21st Mortgage

    I remembered when I was getting mortgage, I have to sign tons of useless papers. I still don’t understand why I have to sign the plethora of papers to kill valuable trees.

  • http://www.capwestmortgage.net/ CapWest Mortgage Company

    I love the idea of simplified form and the speed with which one can do business with impatience customers at the office.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.