New TRID FAQs - Funny Joke or Something Else?

Over the years, I have spent a bit of time studying comedy.  I’m no expert by any means, but I’m always intrigued by the details of how things work, and comedy is no exception.  I figure that once I understand how something like comedy works, I will be able to better use it and appreciate it.

When we look at the art of comedy, there is one well-known element that seems to be at the heart of much comedy: the punch line.

A punch line is the heart and soul of anything funny.  It explains what has happened. It concludes the joke or story.  It makes it funny.

And the reason a punch line makes something funny is that it is often unexpected.  In fact, it is sort of like a “punch” in that you are caught off guard by the ridiculousness of the punchline.  A punchline is often so absurd that you never would have seen it coming. And this is what makes something funny.

Absurd.  Ridiculous.  Unexpected.

For example, let’s talk a quick look at the ol’ bar jokes.  You know, the Priest and Rabbi joke formula. As simple (and lame) as they often are, they are a perfect example of the formula.  You know - A man walked into a bar. It hurt.

Absurd.  Ridiculous.  Unexpected.

Which is sort of like the CFPB’s recent release of TRID FAQs.

Last week, the CFPB released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which are related to the TRID-RESPA integrated disclosure rules.  While one might think that a set of TRID FAQs is a fantastic idea - which it is due the the complexity of the rules - this new set of FAQs only contains four (4) questions and answers.


With several years of TRID now under our belts, most of us can rattle off a dozen TRID questions without thinking that would be perfect for a FAQ like this.  Yet, instead of providing a few dozen helpful FAQs (like most other FAQs), this Q&A only provides four questions, most of which don’t add much value as we already knew the clear answers to them.

Which brings us back to comedy.

Was the release of only 4 FAQs just a funny joke?  It does contain all of the elements of comedy.

Absurd. Ridiculous. Unexpected.

Or, maybe, just maybe… this FAQ is actually the first of a number of beneficial questions and answers that will provide a significant benefit to the industry. I truly hope this is the case -which it may be - because a comprehensive list of TRID FAQs would be extremely beneficial for most of us who often struggle with some of the gray areas of the rules.

Either way, this new TRID FAQ is sort of like walking into a bar - it hurts.

The entire list of all four TRID FAQs can be found here:

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