An influential Republican U.S. senator on Monday urged regulators to carefully craft a mortgage rule so that it does not keep the mortgage market dependent on government support.
Senate Bob Corker, a member of the Senate Banking Committee who has been an outspoken voice on housing reform, called for changes to the new mortgage standards that are being drafted by six regulatory agencies.
One such rule defines Qualified Residential Mortgages, or QRMs. These seemingly safer loans would be exempt from a “skin in the game” requirement that calls for mortgage originators to keep a portion of securitized loans on their books.
The problem with the current proposal, Corker said, is that the QRM rule would also exempt loans backed by government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That would likely mean lenders would only make loans that could be sold to Fannie, Freddie or the Federal Housing Administration, and would push private capital out of the U.S. mortgage market, he said.