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Know Before You Owe

Consumer agency wants your feedback on new mortgage forms

The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to redesign mortgage disclosure forms so that home buyers can understand completely the terms of the loans before they sign on.

See also: What you need to know about reverse mortgages.

And it needs your help.

Agency officials want consumers to provide feedback as they redesign the disclosure forms into a single document. The disclosures are required under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Many borrowers caught up in the recent housing crisis have said they didn't know or understand the cost and terms of their loans in part because of confusing paperwork.

With clear, simple forms, officials say, consumers will be in a better position to know whether they can afford a particular mortgage or get a better deal elsewhere.

Go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online to check out the draft designs and give your feedback. The site is open to comments until Friday, May 27.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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