Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Better Mortgage Disclosure At WaMu

Some good news for mortgage borrowers: better disclosure and fair lending are back. Oh well, we heard about new lending guidelines earlier this year, and many lenders have tightened their standards, but here comes the latest about Washington Mutual. Its brokers will have to adhere to a new set of standards, largely focusing on better disclosure and working in the clients’ interest.

The brokers will be asked to supply evidence that they provide disclosures and ensure that borrowers fully understand the terms of the loan and the compensation they will pay the broker. This pretty much reflects consumer complaints about unexpected and unnecessary fees as well as being driven into complex loans they did not understand. We’ve also heard about mortgage papers including terms that hadn’t been discussed previously and were unfavorable to borrowers. If WaMu has found a way to control mortgage disclosure, borrowers will probably have one thing less to worry about.

WaMu Chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger said, “We believe our mortgage broker standard and direct call program should become the new industry benchmark for brokers and lenders across the nation”. They seem to believe that a lot may change for the better when these new standards go into effect on October 9th. At the very least, this announcement will probably do a lot for their public image.

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