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MADISON, Wis. – HUD’s decision last week to withdraw its proposed RESPA reform rule was welcome news to mortgage industry participants. But at least one mortgage expert says the rule’s provisions are an inkling of where the industry is going. Essentially, says CUNA Mutual Mortgage’s Dan Rotert, svp/COO, the proposed rule would have created a new entity in the mortgage industry – a Guaranteed Mortgage Package – and then created the potential for the establishment of a cottage industry – “a bundler” who would create the GMP. “HUD never defined what should be in the bundle, and who the `bundler’ should be, so there was a lot of ambiguity,” says Rotert. Regardless if HUD reintroduces a revised RESPA reform rule and whether it has a provision for GMPs, Rotert opines that the mortgage industry is going to wind up operating in an environment of bundled services. In fact, he says, the industry is already moving in that direction. “In the last year and a half we’ve seen many consolidations on the technology and delivery side of companies that provide mortgage lending products. Providers have been scrambling to create organizations that have all the products, and mortgage lenders have been scrambling to find organizations that want to deliver them. All this has been happening even before HUD issued its rule. The objective is to create a more efficient delivery mechanism.” Rotert adds that HUD’s proposed RESPA rule “gave us a glimpse of what the future could hold for the mortgage industry from a regulatory standpoint. The reaction to the rule was if this is where HUD is going, then let’s get a jump on them. The rule created a catalyst for this to happen. The wheels have already been set in motion.”

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