The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposal to postpone the effective date of the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule to October 1 instead of August 1. The CFPB cited an “administrative error” and consumers’ busy schedules at the start of the school year as reasons why it is proposing the two-month delay. The National Association of REALTORS® and nearly 300 members of Congress had pushed for the delay or a period of restrained enforcement of the new rule so all parties can become accustomed to the changes.

The new rule, which is also referred to as the Know Before You Owe rule, is intended to benefit consumers by creating more accountability and offering consumers more time to understand the mortgage process and their options, but industry experts anticipate complying with the new rule could add at least a week to closings. They are concerned the potential delays might even give all-cash buyers an edge over home buyers who are depending on financing, especially when closing quickly is critical in a hot market.

The Know Before You Owe rule is essentially a consolidation of several forms. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the initial Truth-in-Lending disclosures will be combined into a new form called the Loan Estimate. The HUD-1 and the final Truth-in-Lending disclosures will be combined into another new form called the Closing Disclosure.

It is the timing requirements to deliver the Closing Disclosure that have real estate professionals concerned about potential delays in the closing process. If the Closing Disclosure is not actually received in person, the new rule requires an additional three-day period if it is delivered by mail or electronically. Sunday is not counted; then add a federal holiday to the mix the Closing Disclosure may have to be delivered seven days or more before consummation.

Also, since the responsibility for compliance with the new rule falls heavily on lenders, it is very likely that lenders will retain tight control over the process of issuing the Closing Disclosure. Any last minute changes to the contract, such as seller credits to buyers or removing a loan contingency, could trigger cause for reissuance of a new Closing Disclosure. This could create further delays in the transaction.

“Starting the loan approval process early will reduce the risk of delayed closings. It is imperative that buyers work with a REALTOR® who understands these new guidelines and can prepare the buyer for all possibilities,” advises Chis Isaacson, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.