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CFPB seeks comment on mortgage project consumer surveys
WASHINGTON (3/29/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continues to solicit public comment on its work, officially publishing a trio of comment notices in the Federal Register this week.

One comment request relates to the CFPB's mortgage revision project. The CFPB continues to work toward a final version of its combined Truth in Lending Act (TILA)/Real estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) form, and the agency is planning to contract an outside consumer research firm to conduct quantitative testing once the forms have been finalized. This testing, the CFPB said, will "examine whether the disclosures aid consumers in understanding the terms of the mortgage loan that is the subject of the disclosure," and the results of the testing will help the agency gauge the effectiveness of the mortgage disclosures.

In its request for comments, the CFPB asks commenters whether this type of information collection is needed, and for any suggestions on how the "quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected" could be improved.

The CFPB is asking for the same sort of comments regarding planned periodic consumer surveys and tests. The surveys and tests would help the agency determine how effective its financial literacy and public outreach efforts have been, and the results will help the CFPB improve future outreach and education efforts, the CFPB said.

The agency is also planning to commission a yearly consumer research survey "to better understand the attitudes, understanding, and behaviors of American adult consumers around issues of consumer finance." The survey, the CFPB said, will help "assess consumers' awareness of, engagement in, and the ultimate impact of, the Bureau's efforts to educate and empower consumers to improve their financial decision-making skills and outcomes."

The initial survey will be used to measure the general public understanding and awareness of financial services and products, and future surveys "will also measure the effectiveness of the Bureau's efforts to educate and empower consumers," the CFPB said. The agency plans to conduct these surveys through online and telephone-based surveys, but the CFPB said it would also consider other ways to gather survey results.

Commenters can give the CFPB feedback on whether or not they feel this planned yearly survey is needed, and how the information collection process for the survey could be improved.

Comments on all three releases must be received by the CFPB by May 29, 2012.

For the full CFPB releases, as published in the Federal Register, use the resource links.
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