Short for Real Estate Settlement Protection Act, RESPA is a set of laws passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the rights of consumers during the closing of a real estate transaction. It aims to educate consumers about settlement services like escrow and title companies, as well as prohibit extra referral fees related to closing costs. When a home sale is financed, RESPA requires that lenders give borrowers a Loan Estimate that lists estimated closing costs associated with the loan within three business days of a loan application.

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