As part of its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a guide to assist consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a house.  The Toolkit is designed to help consumers take advantage of the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that lenders are required to begin providing in August.

In its press release dated March 31, the CFPB stated that “[c]reditors must provide the toolkit to mortgage applicants as a part of the application process, and other industry participants, including real estate professionals, are encouraged to provide it to potential homebuyers.”

The Toolkit will replace “Shopping for Your Home Loan: Settlement Costs Booklet”, which was originally prepared by HUD and updated by the CFPB last year.  The Toolkit is designed to be used in connection with the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that will be effective on August 1, 2015.  The CFPB released this update to reflect the integrated mortgage disclosures implementation under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as well as other changes under the Dodd-Frank Act.