Soak up mortgage rules at consumer protection website

Free grease! Free sausage grease from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau!

Sop some up at this link (get it?): www.consumerfinance.gov/eregulations.

It really could grease and ease your understanding of some of the federal regulations surrounding mortgage lending and other kinds of consumer credit and finance.

You say: Do what?

Well, if, as the old line goes, "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made" (apologies to Schwabs), then regulations, a byproduct of laws, are like grease, a byproduct of sausage.

In other words, having direct fingertip access to regulations, and explanations of the regulations, might make them easier going down.

Without further baloney, take my sage (ha ha!) advice: Avail yourself of a rare thing in the regulatory world: a genuine attempt to be helpful and as clear as can be (for government-speak).

"eRegulations makes regulations easier to read and navigate. It clarifies regulations by bringing related information and regulatory history to the forefront," the website explains. "It is a work in progress by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and is a public domain work of the United States government."

Most recently, and of interest to the housing market, the bureau has:

oAdded "Regulation X: Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act," which is meant to protect people with or applying for mortgage loans.

oAdded "Regulation C: Home Mortgage Disclosure Act," which requires banks, credit unions, savings associations and mortgage lenders tocollect, report and disclose information about their mortgage activity.

oUpdated "Regulation Z: Truth in Lending Act," which is meant to protect consumers with mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages, open-end credit, certain student loans, installment loans and other consumer credit, to reflect recent changes.

oAdded "Regulation DD: Truth in Savings Act," which is meant to help consumers shop for deposit accounts such as savings, checking and money market accounts, certificates of deposit, variable-rate accounts and accounts denominated in a foreign currency.

It does comes with some cold grease in the form of a caution:

"Trust, but verify: The CFPBs eRegulations tool is an editorial compilation of material and not an official legal edition of the Code of Federal Regulations or the Federal Register. We have made every effort to ensure the material presented in this tool is accurate, but if you are relying on it for legal research you should consult the official editions of those sources to confirm your findings.

"Nothing in this tool binds the Bureau or creates any rights, benefits, or defenses, substantive or procedural, that are enforceable by any party in any manner."

Like grease, a little of this goes a long way.

Honestly, its more than most of us want to know -- but it includes things most of us need to dip into sometimes while dealing with the intricacies of credit.