Remember predatory lending? Not long ago the media was full of stories about how unfair and abusive lending practices were cheating people out of their homes.
Now, as the economy wobbles down the path to recovery, the government is finally putting into effect some new mortgage rules to protect consumers.
Starting New Years Day, lenders and mortgage brokers now must give potential borrowers a standard Good Faith Estimate that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs. The goal is to eliminate surprises and help borrowers compare loan offers.
It may come too late for people who have already been hit with surprise closing fees or higher-than-expected payments, but the rules may prevent another wave of predatory loans.