WASHINGTON (7/9/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has asked credit unions to comment on a recently released Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) which seeks to clarify current prohibitions against the “required use” of affiliated settlement service providers for residential mortgage transactions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The HUD rules aim to address situations in which some homebuyers commit to using a home builder’s affiliated mortgage lender in exchange for construction discounts or discounted upgrades without sufficient opportunity to review the transaction or comparison shop among other lenders. One of the questions asked by CUNA is whether the economic incentives provided in the ANPR would inflate appraisals or lower underwriting standards in the loan market. Credit unions are also asked to comment on whether the home upgrades, settlement discounts, and guaranteed interest rates offered as part of the home purchase process in these situations are illusory, and whether consumers that are offered incentives in these situations would be less likely to comparison shop for these types of settlement services. CUNA has asked that all comments be submitted by Aug. 20. The HUD is accepting comments until Sept.1. For the full comment call, use the resource link.