Despite all the bad economic news of late, some good has come from the recent fiscal crisis that has affected U.S. consumers. Recent guidelines coming out of Washington have changed the way loan originators disclose closing costs for homebuyers. The objective is to level the playing field for all loan originators and make it easier for homebuyers to compare programs.

Under the new guidelines, all fees paid to the lender are to be consolidated on one line. Those include processing fees, origination fees, etc. Those fees cannot be changed without a material change to the loan requested.

Some lenders suggest that estimates for fees from government recording charges and third-party settlement providers should be itemized. The lender is held to a tolerance of 10% in the accuracy of these estimates. If the charges exceed the 10% limit, the lender is responsible for making up the difference.

For the average consumer, these changes should make it less intimidating when it comes time to sign off on your loan package.

For more information, we suggest contacting Thomas J. Liolos, Homestead Financial Services at 830-4215 ( or any reputable lender.