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CFPB Proposes Minor Changes to Mortgage Rules to Ensure Access to Credit
Thursday, May 1, 2014 7:00 AM

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed minor adjustments to its mortgage rules to ensure access to credit. The proposal includes two changes that would help certain nonprofit organizations continue to provide mortgage credit and servicing to underserved populations. The proposal also lays out limited circumstances where lenders that exceed the points and fees cap can refund the excess amount to consumers and still have the loan be considered a Qualified Mortgage.

“Our mortgage rules are now helping to protect consumers all across the country from debt traps, runarounds, and surprises,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Yesterday’s proposal would maintain those strong protections, while making minor changes to ensure consumers have access to credit. This includes helping nonprofits that provide working families with important pathways to affordable homeownership.”

The proposed rule is available on CFPB’s website.

In January 2013, the CFPB finalized several mortgage rules, most of which took effect in January 2014. Among these rules, the Ability-to-Repay rule protects consumers from irresponsible mortgage lending by requiring that lenders generally make a reasonable, good-faith determination that prospective borrowers have the ability to repay their loans. The mortgage servicing rules establish strong protections for homeowners, including those facing foreclosure.

The proposed amendments respond to concerns about origination and servicing issues, particularly for nonprofit housing providers. Among the provisions in the proposed rule:

  • Defining nonprofit small servicers
  • Nonprofit Ability-to-Repay exemption amendment
  • Refunding excess points and fees

Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, the public will be able to comment on it at regulations.gov.