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House Passes Mortgage Choice Act
Friday, February 9, 2018 6:45 AM

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 280-131 to pass H.R. 1153, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017.

The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), is said to preserve consumer choice and help more Americans, especially those with low- and moderate-incomes and first time homebuyers, to achieve the dream of homeownership.

As Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling explained, “The Mortgage Choice Act is needed because the CFPB wrote a flawed and problematic definition that grossly miscalculates points and fees, and the result is that many mortgage loans, particularly those for low and moderate-income borrowers, would not meet the standards of a Qualified Mortgage and thus not get made.”

The bill changes the way points and fees are calculated by excluding fees paid for affiliated title charges and escrow charges for insurance and taxes, allowing more loans to meet the “Qualified Mortgage” standard.

Huizenga said he re-introduced the Mortgage Choice Act with a narrow focus to promote access to affordable mortgage credit without overturning the important consumer protections and sound underwriting required under Dodd-Frank's "ability to repay" provisions.