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"Closing costs" can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a home, so it's essential to know what to expect. RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process. The goal of RESPA is to protect borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction. For more information on RESPA, visit the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's Web site and search on the term "RESPA."