Department of Housing and Urban Development general counsel Keith Gottfried has resigned, and he left the department Nov. 3 after serving one year as HUD's chief legal officer.It is a "loss" for lenders and real estate settlement providers who supported his efforts to provide guidance on Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act issues, according to RESPA attorney Phillip Schulman. "The fact that he won't be there to carry out that mission is a loss for participants," he said. Mr. Schulman is a partner with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP in Washington. Mr. Gottfried's departure is also expected to delay HUD's RESPA reform effort to revise and improve the good-faith estimate that lenders disclose to mortgage applicants. In a letter to his HUD colleagues, Mr. Gottfried said he is "proud" to have laid the "framework for enhancing regulatory transparency and compliance assistance at HUD." Prior to joining HUD, Mr. Gottfried was general counsel at Borland Software, Scotts Valley, Calif. In the 1990s, he was an attorney with Skadden Arps in New York.

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