Last year witnessed historic negotiations with regard to world trouble spots and the federal budget. While admittedly of a lesser magnitude, negotiations initiated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development could have a huge impact on the mortgage industry.

On Dec. 13, HUD began a procedure known as "negotiated rulemaking" to attempt to resolve various issues related to the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974. The process involves a committee formed of representatives from interested groups that will hold informal public meetings on these issues.

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