(a) The Congress finds that significant reforms in the real estate settlement process are needed to insure that consumers throughout the Nation are provided with greater and more timely information on the nature and costs of the settlement process and are protected from unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain abusive practices that have developed in some areas of the country. The Congress also finds that it has been over two years since the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs submitted their joint report to the Congress on "Mortgage Settlement Costs" and that the time has come for the recommendations for Federal legislative action made in that report to be implemented.
(b) It is the purpose of this chapter to effect certain changes in the settlement process for residential real estate that will result—
(1) in more effective advance disclosure to home buyers and sellers of settlement costs;
(2) in the elimination of kickbacks or referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of certain settlement services;
(3) in a reduction in the amounts home buyers are required to place in escrow accounts established to insure the payment of real estate taxes and insurance; and
(4) in significant reform and modernization of local recordkeeping of land title information.
REFERENCES IN TEXT This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 93–533, Dec. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 1724, as amended, known as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, which is classified principally to this chapter (§2601 et seq.). For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note below and Tables.CHANGE OF NAME Reference to Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs deemed to refer to Secretary of Veterans Affairs pursuant to section 10 of Pub. L. 100–527, set out as a Department of Veterans Affairs Act note under section 301 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits.EFFECTIVE DATE Pub. L. 93–533, §20, formerly §19, Dec. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 1731, renumbered §20, Pub. L. 94–205, §10, Jan. 2, 1976, 89 Stat. 1159, provided that: "The provisions of this Act, and the amendments made thereby [see Short Title note below], shall become effective one hundred and eighty days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 22, 1974]."SHORT TITLE OF 1976 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 94–205, §1, Jan. 2, 1976, 89 Stat. 1157, provided: "That this Act [enacting section 2617 of this title, amending sections 2602, 2603, 2604, 2607, 2609 and 2616 of this title and section 1631 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, repealing sections 2605 and 2606 of this title, enacting provisions set out as a note under section 2602 of this title and amending provisions set out as a note under this section] may be cited as the ‘Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Amendments of 1975’."SHORT TITLE Pub. L. 93–533, §1, Dec. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 1724, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter and sections 1730f and 1831b of this title and provisions set out as notes under this section and section 1730f of this title] may be cited as the ‘Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974’."SIMPLIFICATION AND UNIFICATION OF DISCLOSURES REQUIRED UNDER RESPA AND TILA FOR MORTGAGE TRANSACTIONS Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title II, §2101, Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–398, provided that: "(a) In General.—With respect to credit transactions which are subject to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 [12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.] and the Truth in Lending Act [15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.], the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (hereafter in this section referred to as the ‘Board’) and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (hereafter in this section referred to as the ‘Secretary’) shall take such action as may be necessary before the end of the 6-month period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1996]— "(1) to simplify and improve the disclosures applicable to such transactions under such Acts, including the timing of the disclosures; and "(2) to provide a single format for such disclosures which will satisfy the requirements of each such Act with respect to such transactions. "(b) Regulations.—To the extent that it is necessary to prescribe any regulation in order to effect any changes required to be made under subsection (a), the proposed regulation shall be published in the Federal Register before the end of the 6-month period referred to in subsection (a). "(c) Recommendations for Legislation.—If the Board and the Secretary find that legislative action may be necessary or appropriate in order to simplify and unify the disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 [12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.] and the Truth in Lending Act [15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.], the Board and the Secretary shall submit a report containing recommendations to the Congress concerning such action."
12 U.S.C. § 2601 (2018)