Government Relaxes Mortgage Down Payment Standards

August 30, 2013 Posted by kingcade

This week, Federal regulators proposed a new rule that would make mortgage lending standards less restrictive. The proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule was supported by both consumer advocates and mortgage industry members- an otherwise rare occurrence- largely because it eliminates much stricter down payment rules that the previous version of QRM would have created.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule requires lenders to underwrite home loans based on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, a step the agency took to combat some of the bad lending practices that led to the housing crisis.

Under the CFPB’s QM rule, borrowers must provide income documentation that they can repay the loan, and that their debt-to-income ratio does not exceed 43 percent, among other requirements. It does not, however, have any rules requiring lenders to ask for a set down payment amount.

QRM would have required lenders to demand a 20 percent down payment from borrowers. The rule was intended to prevent unqualified borrowers from taking out a mortgage they can’t handle, but housing advocates and mortgage industry members argued that it instead prevented too many qualified and responsible low- to middle-income borrowers from taking out a mortgage.

According to some housing experts, aligning the QRM rule with the QM rules will allow more American families to become homeowners and ensures that housing markets can remain strong in the future. This is especially important for communities that are still rebuilding from the foreclosure crisis.

The National Association of Realtors President Gary Thomas called it a “a victory for homebuyers and the future of homeownership in this country.”

Click here to read more the new rule that would make mortgage lending standards less restrictive.

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