Answer by Randy Carey: 226.17(c) Basis of disclosures and use of estimates.
(1) The disclosures shall reflect the terms of the legal obligation between the parties.
(2)(i) If any information necessary for an accurate disclosure is unknown to the creditor, the creditor shall make the disclosure based on the best information reasonably available at the time the disclosure is provided to the consumer, and shall state clearly that the disclosure is an estimate.
Since the exact number of inspections may vary, you may provide a reasonable estimate. The fact that a specific project may involve additional inspection fees and that inspection fees are covered in the contract will allow you to charge for them and not impact your initial disclosures.
Answer by Richard Insley: Reg Z does not force you to live with finance charges that are estimated at closing. If it did, the same standard would apply to interest and you would be stuck with a non-accrual loan whenever a construction project runs over.
First published on BankersOnline.com 4/27/09