Mortgage Loan Fees Increased Thirty-Six Percent in two years: CFPB Launches Inquiry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding fees imposed in residential mortgage transactions. This initiative aims to gather insights and comments from the public about the escalating costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. As homeowners and prospective buyers, this is an opportunity for you to voice your experiences and concerns regarding these fees.

From 2021 to 2023, the median total loan costs for home purchase loans surged by over 36%, with the median dollar amount paid by borrowers in 2022 nearing $6,000. These rising costs, coupled with increased home prices and interest rates, have significantly strained household budgets. The CFPB’s focus is on understanding the impact of these fees on home affordability and access to credit, particularly for first-time and lower-income buyers who are disproportionately affected.

The CFPB has launched a public inquiry into what they term “junk fees” in mortgage closing costs. According to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, these excessive fees can drain down payments and push up monthly mortgage costs, making homeownership less accessible. The Bureau is seeking to uncover why these costs are rising, who benefits from them, and how they might be reduced to alleviate the financial burden on both borrowers and lenders.

Mortgage lenders are also affected by these rising costs. Increased expenses for services like credit reports and title insurance can limit lenders’ ability to offer competitive mortgages, as they either pass these costs onto borrowers or absorb them, affecting their bottom line. The CFPB is particularly interested in understanding the competitive pressures and market barriers affecting these fees, as well as gathering data on the broader impacts on housing affordability and home equity.

The CFPB is calling on homeowners, homebuyers, and industry participants to share their stories, data, and insights on mortgage closing costs. Comments can be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by email. Your feedback will help shape future regulations and policies aimed at ensuring fair and transparent mortgage practices. For more details, including submission instructions, refer to the full notice from the CFPB below.

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