CFPB Proposes Minor Changes to Mortgage Rules to Ensure Access to Credit

April 30, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing 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. "Today'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."

View the full proposed rule changes.

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.

In addition to seeking public comment the proposed mortgage rule changes, the CFPB is also seeking input on certain other questions relating to the impact of the Bureau's rules, including their effect on larger lenders that do not meet the definition of small creditor. The Bureau may address these issues in future rulemakings as part of the Bureau's ongoing efforts to ensure that the mortgage rules provide consumers with the protections they need while continuing to protect access to affordable credit.

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