​CFPB Issues Guidance on Housing Counseling Disclosure

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued an interpretive rule intended to help lenders comply with the requirement in its mortgage servicing and high-cost mortgage rules to provide a list — shortly after a borrower applies for a mortgage — of Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselors nearby.

According to the rule, lenders can fulfill this requirement by using the CFPB’s online tool or by generating their own list from HUD’s underlying data. The CFPB’s online tool generates a list of the ten closest HUD-approved counselors to a customer’s zip code, as well as showing the services and languages they offer.

The interpretive rule provides further details on customer information lenders may use to generate the list, counselor contact information they must provide, required boilerplate that must accompany the list and situations such as borrowers residing overseas. According to the CFPB, the list may be combined with other required disclosures. The bureau also provided further details on maintaining counselor independence.