The New HUD-1 – I’m Embarrassed

by Francine D'Elia Wirsching on January 26, 2010

Embarrased, mortified, simply put, I am ashamed. Yesterday I conducted my first closings using the new HUD-1. And, for the first time in my life, I felt like a scam artist (if a scam artist has a conscience). Make no mistake, I am serious. I found myself cringing while explaining the “improved” HUD-1 and apologizing to the consumers for the LACK of transparency in what I was asking them to sign.The glazed look on their faces only worsened my discomfort. In my career I venture to guess that I have prepared and explained more than 10,000 Settlement Statements. Now, I am shuffling papers and jumping back and forth between line items trying to reveal the whole financial picture. After going from point A to B then to C and back to A, the borrowers gave me a “You’ve got to be kidding me” look. I could only offer that the new RESPA regulations are here to help the consumer.

Ethical professionals care

I am not adverse to change but what was once a one or two page form is now six pages with three of the pages being optional. For any professional who believes in the importance of full disclosure, the last three pages are essential. Pages one, two, and three are the new HUD-1 standard and the fourth page contains signature lines (silly me, I think this is kind of important). The last two pages include one from the lender and one from the title insurance agent to outline the “hidden” fees charged but not disclosed on the first two pages. But remember, the last three pages are optional.

With the absence of required full disclosure, we’ve created an information vacuum with the unintentional consequence of establishing a playground for the true con artists to prey on consumers.

Hope IS part of my game plan

Maybe I am feeling this way because the procedures are new. Maybe I am not reading the new rules correctly. Should I attend one more webinar, seminar, hudinar, or go find the most recent version of the FAQs? Something tells me that my discomfort won’t be addressed in these outlets. How do you achieve comfort when you know you are pedaling something that just isn’t right?

I can only hope that ALTA is listening to its members and fulfilling its promise to report back to HUD on our experience in the field. My next hope is that HUD will listen. But most of all, I hope my industry colleagues will continue to be vocal. The Consumer deserves no less.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Anthony Louis Affatati, Sr. January 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm

It is unfortunate that we are in a field that lacks transparancy and yet verbalizes that they are only trying to protect the consumer with this excuse of a form. Double talk,confusion and loop holes that allow the repeat of 2008 are the bylines of our elected official’s attempt at consumer appeasement.It appears that the only noise the politicians will listen too is the noise made at the polls when they run for another session at the trough. Its apparant that the consumer has no clue to what has been perpertrated on them. In the interim we are allowing the sale of our future to special intrests and itinerant politicians who could care less about there constiuents. They put there time in, establish freindships with the special intrests, continue to be covered by a medical plan fit for a King,retire on a pension that staggers the imagination and all paid for by there loyal serfs—US.
We can talk all we want but we need to make our voice count. Vote them out and interview qualified potential replacements. Lets stop with the debates and lets get something of substance going.Inform the public as to what is going on. Forget about polls. Concentrate on the agenda that will bring transparancy to all of government.Lets elect the first honest business person( if there is one) and let him/her run our country like a business requiring a profit prior to spending.. I know that I am over simplefying it but stop and think. Could you run your title business like we are allowing our elected officials to run our country?Can you borrow from your trust account and rely on someone else to pay it back. Can you defer paying payroll tax so you can bail out your payroll account? Can you zerox your pocket cash and use that to pay your outstanding debts? Can you raise your title fees because yourshor t on your rent this month? Well——-Think about it. !!!!!!
Start the wheels of change in motion. Join NAILTA,ALTA or your local state ALTA and let your elected officials know how you feel. Its is politically correct to voice your opinion with conviction. Support the people who want to help bring about positive change. Its either you do or you look for another career to work at. Your decision. Just make one.


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