As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to provide homebuyers with clearer standards for understanding mortgage loans.
In July 2010, Congress passed sweeping financial reform known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and directed the bureau to write new disclosure standards for financial products, including mortgages.
The text of the law says the bureau "may prescribe rules to ensure that the features of any consumer financial product or service, both initially and over the term of the product or service, are fully, accurately, and effectively disclosed to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand the costs, benefits, and risks associated with the product or service, in light of the facts and circumstances.”
The end result will be a "single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions,” the law says.
A spokeswoman for the bureau told us that those standards are being written now. They will combine the disclosures already required in the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to make the process less confusing. The standards should be finalized by January 2013.
The Dodd-Frank law achieved Obama's promise, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working to get those new standards in place. We rate this a Promise Kept.