The Department of Housing and Urban Development has reconvened its team to draft new rules simplifying the real estate closing process, but HUD's approach will be different this time, Secretary Alphonso Jackson has told MortgageWire.Mr. Jackson said HUD will consult with congressional leaders soon and then start working with the housing industry on new regulations pertaining to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. "My position is that if we can get 75% to 80% of the industry on board with Congress, then clearly, though everyone is not going to be happy, we will have a consensus," he said in a Jan. 7 interview with MW after ringing the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange. The failure of proposed RESPA reform last year reflected a lack of consensus, he said. Secretary Jackson said House and Senate leaders recognize the need to simplify real estate settlements, giving momentum to a new attempt to overhaul the RESPA rules. While setting no timetable, Secretary Jackson said that within 60 to 90 days, after congressional leaders have been consulted, he should have a better feel for how long it will take to implement reforms.

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