House Small Business Committee Chairman Don Manzullo, R-Ill., says he plans to hold a Jan. 6 hearing on HUD's decision to finalize its "flawed" RESPA rule and will support congressional efforts to overturn it."The Department of Housing and Urban Development's decision to sneak through its flawed rule during the congressional recess once again demonstrates HUD's disdain for small business and the United States Congress," Rep. Manzullo said. Rep. Manzullo has been very critical of the economic impact study HUD conducted in issuing its proposed Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act rules in July 2002. He argued that it did not adequately address the impact that the packaging of settlement services would have on title companies, appraisers, and other small businesses. The economic impact study is "so inadequate, it will likely spawn lawsuits," Rep. Manzullo said. "In addition to destroying thousands of small businesses, it is highly questionable that the proposed rule will save consumers money when they take out a mortgage." HUD sent the RESPA rule to the Office of Management and Budget on Dec. 17 for final clearance after President Bush said he hopes the regulations are "finalized soon."

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