On March 31 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a new toolkit, titled Your Home Loan Toolkit – A Step-by-Step Guide, that guides consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a house. The toolkit is designed to help consumers take advantage of the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that lenders are required to begin providing in August.
The toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to help consumers understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what affordable means to them, and find their best mortgage. The toolkit features interactive worksheets and checklists, conversation starters for discussions between consumers and lenders, and research tips to help consumers seek out and find important information.
The toolkit is designed to replace the existing Settlement Costs Booklet. The toolkit is to be used in connection with the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that will be effective on August 1, 2015. Creditors must provide the toolkit to mortgage applicants as a part of the application process.
An electronic version of the toolkit, complete with fillable text fields and interactive check boxes, is available so the consumer can save and print their progress as they work through the toolkit. The electronic version meets federal accessibility standards to ensure that all consumers, including those with disabilities, can use the resource. The CFPB encourages lenders to keep this level of accessibility when delivering the PDF to consumers. A Spanish language version will also be made available later in 2015.
The electronic version of the toolkit is available by clicking here. Preprinted version are available for purchase. A large version is available here. A smaller version is available here. Both versions are sold in a minimum quantity of 100.