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Volume 29 - Number 50

January 10, 2013

CFPB Gives Blanket ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Coverage To Agency Mortgages, Safe Harbor for Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week spread a huge safety net under the agency mortgage market, ruling that loans deemed suitable for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA and the Veterans Administration will be “qualified mortgages” that provide strong protection against litigation for mortgage lenders. The CFPB’s long-awaited ability-to-repay final rule provides a safe harbor for loans that meet its QM definition and also are not considered “higher-priced mortgages” under an older Truth in Lending Act regulation promulgated by the Federal Reserve back in 2008. That rule classifies first mortgages as higher-priced if the annual percentage rate exceeds the average offered rate for comparable loans by 1.5 percentage points or more. Generally, the CFPB final rule defines...

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With rates higher this year, there has been talk of lenders liberalizing their underwriting standards in an effort to increase volume and make up for lower refis.

Do you think your shop will loosen standards over the coming three months?

Yes, but not by much.
Yes, by a lot.
Yes and, heck, we may even do non-QM lending.
No, not at all.
No and we may even tighten credit.

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