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Barry Ritholtz

Crocodile Tears From Mortgage Lenders

The disclosure rules that take effect this week are long overdue.
New and improved.

New and improved.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Starting Saturday, the real-estate industry will be subject to new disclosure rules, courtesy of the Dodd-Frank law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Lenders will be required to make transparent and complete disclosure of the terms of mortgages -- including all costs and fees.

This information was sorely lacking during the boom in the 2000s. Residential real estate peaked in the U.S. in 2006, and the housing bust that followed exposed the worst practices of the era. Common-sense disclosure could have curbed many of the more egregious and preventable abuses.