Question:

What happens if a lender fails to abide by Truth in Lending Act mortgage rules?

Answer:

While lenders are required to comply with Truth in Lending Act (TILA) mortgage rules, some borrowers with failing subprime or other mortgages are exploiting TILA regulations to get out of escalating foreclosure threat.

So lenders failing in a way to provide accurate and/or complete disclosure on the terms, rates and costs of a mortgage loan may be challenged by borrowers in default.

Indeed, borrowers can be happy to get out of foreclosure this way, but a series of successful lawsuits on the basis of incompliance with TILA mortgage regulations can be a serious obstacle to investors. The subprime mortgage market has had its loose standards for years and the percentage of subprime first home mortgage loans has risen to some 14% of all new first mortgages signed yearly.

So far, some huge subprime lenders have managed to settle TILA class action suits for over $5 Mil. There are also particular class-action suits under TILA that consumers managed to win.

Where subprime loans fail to meet Truth-in-Lending mortgage disclosure requirements?

Lenders are expected to supply some detailed information to borrowers, regarding key aspects of their mortgage loans. For example, the effective interest rate after ARM rate reset, some very loan specific terms and the overall Interest Cost (IC) of the loan.

This is where many subprime mortgages actually fail to comply with TILA - the major federal consumer protection law. They didn't explicitly state the maximum monthly mortgage payment, or that rate and payment can increase significantly over the life of the loan.

Since subprime mortgage lawsuits are generally based on insufficiently accurate loan papers with basic non-compliant errors - were these made on purpose or merely went unnoticed?

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