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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

New York Financial Regulator Issues Guidance on Determination of Subprime Home Loans Under State Law

Mortgage Origination Subprime FHA


On July 3, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) sent a letter to regulated institutions and issued a temporary order relating to the determination of thresholds for “subprime home loans” under Section 6-m of the New York Banking Law. Due to recent increases in interest rates, many lenders who utilize a loan’s closing date as the time period for determining the “fully indexed rate” feared that they may be originating loans that meet the definition of subprime home loans under Section 6-m. The letter reminds lenders that in 2009, DFS amended Section 6-m of the Banking Law to instruct lenders to use the date that they provide good faith estimates to borrowers as the date for calculating the “fully indexed rate.” The letter also states that the DFS believes that calculating the “fully indexed rate” properly should allay many lenders fears that they may be triggering Section 6-m. Relatedly, recent changes to the calculation of Mortgage Insurance Premiums mandated by the FHA in Mortgagee Letter 2013-04 has increased the annual percentage rate on subject loans and is causing them to fall under Section 6-m’s definition of subprime home loan. To address the issue, the DFS issued a temporary order that, for 60 days from the date of the order, directs lenders not to use the MIP changes effectuated by FHA when calculating the APR and fully indexed rates for purposes of Section 6-m.

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