WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve's Consumer Advisory Council has plans to pore over piles of paper at its next meeting in November.
A subcommittee of the advisory panel will begin taking a comprehensive look at the dozens of Truth-in-Lending disclosures that banks are required to provide at loan closings. And they know what they're up against.
"The pile of paper is fairly formidable," said James L. West, the council's chairman.
The council hopes it can make a dent in that pile, though, and its members thinks consumers will benefit.
"Nobody reads the papers, and it's not serving the purposes it was meant to serve," said Grace Weinstein, chairman of the council's Consumer Credit Committee.
"It's a matter of simplifying the content and also the timing of disclosures," she added.
A comprehensive study of closing disclosures was authorized at the council's June 29 meeting in Washington. Then the committee considered pending legislation that would allow lenders to more easily inform borrowers about the dynamic interest charged on adjustable-rate mortgage loans. Lenders currently must provide historical examples that they say only confuse consumers.
The regulatory relief bill under consideration on Capitol Hill would allow lenders to provide the historical example or a statement showing more simply how rates on the borrower's specific loan could rise and fall with the annual percentage rate.
"That's just a one-page item," said Mr. West. "We'd really like to take a look at that whole pile."