As a Chantilly area home buyer planning to get a mortgage, it’s critical that you know your rights under the law. The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is a piece of federal legislation that governs how mortgage lenders can and cannot operate their businesses.
So how does the Truth in Lending Act protect you, and what are your rights under this legislation? Here’s what you need to know.
Your Lender Must Give You A Timely Loan Estimate
A Loan Estimate (previously known as a Good Faith Estimate) is a document your lender provides you that details information about what kind of a mortgage you’ve applied for. Your Loan Estimate includes terms such as your estimated monthly payment, your estimated interest rate, and whether or not your mortgage balance is able to rise even if you make payments.
Under the Truth in Lending Act, your lender is obligated to give you a good-faith Loan Estimate within three days of when you apply for your mortgage. If your lender fails to provide your Loan Estimate within three days, or fails to fix reported errors within 60 days, you can sue for damages and report the lender to the federal government.
Your Lender Must Notify You Of Rate Changes
TILA requires that your mortgage lender give you an annual percentage rate estimate within 1/8 of one percent of government guidelines. Your lender must use the government-approved mathematical formula to provide your rate estimate.
If your estimated rate may be subject to change, your lender is obligated to disclose the first possible change you’ll see to your interest rate, and the maximum degree to which it may change. Your lender is also required to disclose the maximum possible changes for subsequent rate adjustments.
There Are Strict Rules About How And When Lenders Can Charge Late Fees
If your lender typically administers fees for late payments, TILA will specify that your lender must notify you – in advance – the date on which a late fee will be imposed and how much the late fee will be. TILA states that no late fee can exceed 4 percent of the amount past due, and a payment is only considered late if it is 15 or more days past due (or 30 or more days past due if you prepaid your interest). Also know that your lender cannot charge you a late fee on top of a late fee.
There is a lot of consumer protection in this law. It is also a reminder that getting a reputable mortgage company to do business with is critical.
If you need a few referrals of lenders we have found reliable, or if you have any questions about homes in the Chantilly area that you would like to know more about, please be in touch. We are always here for you!