Federal regulators last week began the process of making the Truth-in-Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts more consistent.

The Federal Reserve Board and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a joint proposal asking the public how they should change the two laws.

The agencies said they are particularly interested in making the existing disclosures more useful. They also want suggestions on which sections of the two laws could be merged or eliminated. Regulators said they are concentrating on the disclosures for closing costs, escrow accounts, affiliated business arrangements, and rescission notices.

Congress ordered the agencies to simplify the two laws. Comments are due Jan. 31. A detailed proposal incorporating the comments is expected in March.

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