WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) offered support for the Department of Housing and Urban Development\’s (HUD) proposed rule to revise the nearly 30-year old Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The new change allows for greater competition in the market for home mortgage lending and settlement services and benefits consumers greatly without requiring additional government spending.
"The proposed rule removes existing regulatory barriers and allows businesses in the real estate market to offer consumers more choices at better prices," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "By pursuing regulatory reform and greater competition, consumers can gain more than $10 billion, or nearly $1,000 per home closing, in market efficiencies."

Currently, prospective homebuyers are inundated with meaningless cost estimates and volumes of government-mandated disclosures. In addition, exceedingly complex real estate closing regulations intimidate consumers, diminish incentives to shop for lower prices or better services, and lead to higher-than-necessary closing costs.

The United States maintains the best real estate sector in the world, however the proposed rule changes can further harness market forces to produce substantial consumer benefits. Increased homeownership creates wealth that can be passed from generation to generation. The federal government should work to make it easier for Americans to own homes, not more difficult.

"The last twenty-five years produced significant regulatory changes in the transportation, communications and financial services sectors," said Norquist. "It is appropriate that the Department of Housing is following that trend and proving that markets, not bureaucrats or government programs, provide consumers with the greatest protection and benefits."