Help the CFPB Help You

Anyone who has tried to make sense of his credit card bill or mortgage statement knows that these documents are often dense, difficult pages of confusing legalese. I share this concern; that’s why I’m pleased that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been working on a project to improve and simplify the disclosures for a number of consumer financial products.

In the past, the CFPB has solicited feedback on student loan and credit card disclosures. Now, it’s turning its attention to mortgage disclosures, and it wants your comments. The CFPB has posted a model mortgage statement on its website. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the model disclosure includes the following information:

  • The principal amount owed;
  • The current interest rate;
  • The date when the interest rate may change;
  • Any prepayment fees;
  • Any late payment fees;
  • A phone number and email address that the consumer can use to contact the lender;
  • Contact information for providers of credit counseling;
  • Any other information that the CFPB requires, via regulation, to be included.

You can check out the CFPB’s model statement and leave feedback on the CFPB’s website.