The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has mandated a massive overhaul of the mortgage disclosure requirements designed in large part to help home buyers shop more effectively for mortgages. An even more serious problem may be that consumers don’t shop for mortgages at all.
A CFPB analysis of borrowers who purchased homes in 2013 found that nearly half (47 percent) of the 5,000 buyers surveyed considered only a single lender. A large majority (70 percent) relied on the lender or broker they used to provide information about their loan. About one-third relied on real estate brokers or home builders.
“Almost nobody looks only at one house and decides to stop right there,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a recent speech, expressing his concern about the survey results. “Consumers spend considerable time looking at different neighborhoods and at different homes for sale. The same should be true of choosing among possible mortgage loans.”
Obtaining loan information from the entities providing the loan is problematic, he noted, because they have “important personal stake in selling the mortgage…. What is best for them is not always going to be best for the consumer.”