The long-anticipated set of mortgage rules, including the qualified mortgage, promised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have finally been released, according to CNNMoney. Designed to correct the lax underwriting practices that led to the housing bubble fiasco, the new rules require documented financial feasibility of repaying the loan has to be fully determined by the lender before issuing the loan—income, debts, assets, credit scores, ability to take care of the home, etc. In exchange, lenders and originators will be protected from lawsuits brought by borrowers or mortgage-backed bond holders. If borrowers fall a little short in meeting all the guidelines, the mortgage may still be issued but only if the borrower can show mortgage payments do not exceed 43% of the borrower’s pretax income. MHProNews has been informed these rules take effect Jan. 21 with a 12-month trial period. Exceptions to the rules, which will be finalized this spring, include: Certain non-profits that issue mortgages to low-income homebuyers are to be exempt; some refis through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP); and for certain loans made by small community lenders.
(Photo credit: globeandmail–Canada homebuyers)