CFPB: No Final QRM Rule Until Next Year

Mortgage & Real Estate

The housing finance sector will have to wait until next year for the final rule on what constitutes a ‘qualified residential mortgage,’ the unofficial head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told a regulatory forum in Washington.

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The CFPB is “carefully reviewing” comments it received on the proposed rule, but won’t make a final determination until “early next year,” Raj Date told the meeting, which is sponsored by National Mortgage News.

“We want to provide clarity to the market as quickly as we can without sacrificing our analysis,” Date said.

Date’s official title at the CFPB is special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. But since Republicans in Congress have vowed not to confirm any nominee as chairman until the bureau is substantially altered, Date, who “grew up in consumer finance,” is its top officer.

During a question and answer session following his talk, Date was asked if it wasn’t enough that mortgage lenders have “considerably tightened” their underwriting rules. And he said no.

“At this point in the cycle, I’d be surprised if they didn’t,” he said. “Our job is to make sure there is no rush to the bottom at the other point in the cycle. We can’t pretend there are no bad actors. If there is no enforcement, you can’t expect people to abide by the rules. It’s nonsensical.”

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