The nation's housing secretary on Thursday cautioned participants in HUD's third public RESPA forum that, although the government values their input, "this is not negotiated rulemaking."Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson reminded industry executives and trade group representatives that, "We all realize that there has to be change" when it comes to the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. The agency, though, has offered no specific timetable on when it will issue a new rule and has offered no guidance on what might change in regard to loan closing practices and disclosures. One broker participant in Thursday's forum told HUD officials that, "When you give a consumer too many choices, they can't decide." HUD revealed that back in 2004 it tested new RESPA disclosure forms with at least 600 consumers, but then scuttled RESPA reform entirely. The agency is now vowing to change RESPA in some fashion, soliciting the industry's advice. (See the Aug. 1 issue of National Mortgage News for the full story.)

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