As a resource for class action defense attorneys who defend against RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) class actions, we provide the text of the statute. Congress provided for the preparation and distribution of special information booklets in 12 U.S.C. § 2604, which provides as follows:
§ 2604. Special information booklets
(a) Distribution by Secretary to lenders to help borrowers
The Secretary shall prepare and distribute booklets to help persons borrowing money to finance the purchase of residential real estate better to understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services. The Secretary shall distribute such booklets to all lenders which make federally related mortgage loans.
(b) Form and detail; cost elements, standard settlement form, escrow accounts, selection of persons for settlement services; consideration of differences in settlement procedures
Each booklet shall be in such form and detail as the Secretary shall prescribe and, in addition to such other information as the Secretary may provide, shall include in clear and concise language–
(1) a description and explanation of the nature and purpose of each cost incident to a real estate settlement;
(2) an explanation and sample of the standard real estate settlement form developed and prescribed under section 2603 of this title;
(3) a description and explanation of the nature and purpose of escrow accounts when used in connection with loans secured by residential real estate;
(4) an explanation of the choices available to buyers of residential real estate in selecting persons to provide necessary services incident to a real estate settlement; and
(5) an explanation of the unfair practices and unreasonable or unnecessary charges to be avoided by the prospective buyer with respect to a real estate settlement.
Such booklets shall take into consideration differences in real estate settlement procedures which may exist among the several States and territories of the United States and among separate political subdivisions within the same State and territory.
© Estimate of charges
Each lender shall include with the booklet a good faith estimate of the amount or range of charges for specific settlement services the borrower is likely to incur in connection with the settlement as prescribed by the Secretary.
(d) Distribution by lenders to loan applicants at time of receipt or preparation of applications
Each lender referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall provide the booklet described in such subsection to each person from whom it receives or for whom it prepares a written application to borrow money to finance the purchase of residential real estate. Such booklet shall be provided by delivering it or placing it in the mail not later than 3 business days after the lender receives the application, but no booklet need be provided if the lender denies the application for credit before the end of the 3-day period.
(e) Printing and distribution by lenders of booklets approved by Secretary
Booklets may be printed and distributed by lenders if their form and content are approved by the Secretary as meeting the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.
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