Consumer Bureau rolls out new mortgage paperwork

"This is a really exciting moment," said Warren. "The goal of this project is to make it easier for families to see the costs and risks up front so they can pick the mortgage that’s best for them."

Warren has touted to Congress the simplification of mortgage paperwork as emblematic of the type of work the CFPB will do once it officially opens in July.

CFPB officials pointed out that the prototypes do not constitute official rulemaking. Rather, the agency is gathering information from the public now in advance of proposing official rules sometime before July 2012.

Each of the prototypes would merge two existing mortgage forms — the Truth in Lending Act disclosure and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Good Faith Estimate — into a single document. The CFPB also attempted to make the terms of the mortgage readily apparent to potential homeowners.

Between now and September, the CFPB will conduct several rounds of testing for the forms, interviewing consumers and banking professionals about them, looking for specific feedback on their usability and implementation. At the end of that testing, the bureau will choose one of the draft forms as its official replacement, or it might merge aspects of the two into a new form.

Under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB is required to officially proposed a new mortgage disclosure form by July 2012. A senior CFPB official told reporters the agency expects to have narrowed it down to one prototype sometime this fall.

The Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the nation's largest financial services companies, applauded the CFPB efforts Wednesday, calling it "a positive step forward for both consumers and financial institutions."

This post was last updated at 1:34 pm.