House Passes ALTA Inspired Hold Harmless Bill

the capitol building in washington d c surrounded by red flowers

On October 3rd, the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure (TRID) went into effect, creating new restrictions on closing costs, tightening deadlines for lenders and realtors, and consolidating estimates and disclosures into two forms, the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure Form.  Just four days later, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would protect lenders and realtors from punitive action until February 1st, 2016 if they fail to comply with TRID. The bill is called the Homebuyers Assistance Act, and it passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, 303 to 121.

What’s the Point of the Homebuyers Assistance Act?

Lenders and realtors have been busy preparing for the switch to TRID for the past two years. Despite all the preparation, the document is over 1,500 pages long, and even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unsure how to enforce all its clauses. ALTA recognized that many realtors and lenders may not be ready for the switch, and pushed the House of Representatives to create a bill that protects companies in the industry who are making a legitimate effort to comply. The result of these efforts is the Homebuyers Assistance Act. Though it wouldn’t protect realtors and lenders in every situation, it would codify what “good faith” actually means with regard to TRID’s new requirements. Though sections of Congress and the real estate industry are 100% behind the bill, it does have its detractors.

Opposition to the Homebuyers Assistance Act

The Homebuyers Assistance Act must pass the Senate before taking effect. Many Democratic senators have spoken out against the bill, stating that it would effectively do away with the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and TRID, all of which were designed to increase financial stability, empower and protect borrowers, and improve the quality of mortgage loans. The White House is also skeptical of the bill, and there’s a chance the president would use his veto to block the Homebuyers Assistance Act even if it does pass the Senate.

Much in the Balance

Lakeside Title is a title agency that serves realtors, lenders, developers, and contractors in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. This is a confusing time in the mortgage industry, and now more than ever it’s important for realtors to partner with a qualified title agency. We’re fully prepared for the switch to TRID, providing title insurance and title searches with quick turnaround times. If you have a fast-approaching closing, partner with Lakeside Title to ensure you’re in compliance with new deadlines. Visit our homepage for complete information on our services.

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