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  • CFPB proposes extending General QM Final Rule compliance date

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On March 3, the CFPB released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to delay the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) Final Rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022. As previously covered by InfoBytes, last December the Bureau issued the General QM Final Rule to amend Regulation Z and revise the definition of a “General QM” by eliminating the General QM loan definition’s 43 percent debt-to-income ratio (DTI) limit and replacing it with bright-line price-based thresholds. The new General QM definition became effective on March 1, 2021. The General QM Final Rule also eliminates QM status resulting solely from loans meeting qualifications for sale to Fannie or Freddie Mac (GSEs), known as the “GSE Patch.” In issuing the NPRM, the Bureau expressed concerns “that the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mortgage market may continue for longer than anticipated at the time the Bureau issued the General QM Final Rule, and so could warrant additional flexibility in the QM market to ensure creditors are able to accommodate struggling consumers.” Extending the compliance date will allow lenders to offer QM loans based on either the old or new QM definitions, including the GSE Patch (unless the GSEs exit conservatorship), until October 1, 2022. Comments on the NPRM must be received by April 5.

    The NPRM follows a statement issued last month (covered by InfoBytes here), in which the Bureau said it is considering whether to revisit final rules issued last year that took effect March 1 concerning the definition of a Qualified Mortgage and the establishment of a “Seasoned QM” category of loans. In the NPRM, the Bureau stated “this rulemaking does not reconsider the merits of the price-based approach adopted in the General QM Final Rule. . . . Rather, this proposal addresses the narrower question of whether it would be appropriate in light of the continuing disruptive effects of the pandemic to help facilitate greater creditor flexibility and expanded availability of responsible, affordable credit options for some struggling consumers” by keeping both the old and new rule until October 1, 2022.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Qualified Mortgage Ability To Repay Mortgages Covid-19

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  • CFPB considering compliance delay for QM final rules

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On February 23, the CFPB issued a statement noting it is considering whether to revisit final rules issued last year regarding the definition of a Qualified Mortgage and the establishment of a “Seasoned QM” category of loans. As previously covered by InfoBytes, last December the Bureau issued the General QM Final Rule to amend Regulation Z and revise the definition of a “General QM” by eliminating the General QM loan definition’s 43 percent debt-to-income ratio (DTI) limit and replacing it with bright-line price-based thresholds. The General QM Final Rule also eliminates QM status resulting solely from loans meeting qualifications for sale to Fannie or Freddie Mac (GSEs), known as the “GSE Patch.” The Bureau issued a second final rule, the Seasoned QM Final Rule, to create a new category of safe-harbor QMs applicable to first-lien, fixed-rate mortgages that are held in portfolio by the originating creditor or first purchaser for a 36-month period while meeting certain performance requirements, and comply with general QM restrictions on product features and points and fees. The effective date for both final rules is March 1. The General QM Final Rule also has a mandatory compliance date of July 1.

    In the statement, the Bureau noted that it is “considering whether to initiate a rulemaking to revisit the Seasoned QM Final Rule,” including whether to revoke or amend the Seasoned QM Final Rule and how that would affect covered transactions for which applications were received after the March 1 effective date. In addition, the Bureau stated that it expects to issue a rule to delay the July 1, 2021 mandatory compliance date of the General QM final rule. Should a proposed rule be finalized, creditors would then “be able to use either the current General QM loan definition or the revised General QM loan definition for applications received during the period from March 1, 2021, until the delayed mandatory compliance date,” the Bureau said. Additionally, the GSE patch would also remain in effect until the new mandatory compliance date, or until the GSEs cease to operate under conservatorship prior to that date.

    The same day, the Bureau updated its small entity compliance guide and other compliance aids for the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule. The updates reflect amendments set forth in the GSE Patch Extension Final Rule, the General QM Final Rule, and the Seasoned QM Final Rule.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Ability To Repay Qualified Mortgage GSE Mortgages

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  • Acting director outlines future direction for CFPB

    Federal Issues

    On February 4, CFPB acting Director Dave Uejio published a blog post conveying his “broad vision” for the Division of Research, Markets, and Regulations (RMR). Uejio emphasized that in order for the Bureau to respond to his previously stated policy priorities—(i) relief for consumers facing hardship and economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and (ii) racial equity (covered by InfoBytes here)—the agency must sharpen its focus on the consumer experience. To achieve this goal, Uejio is authorizing the Bureau’s use of its 1022(c)(4) data collection authority and has asked RMR to examine “the impact of specific industry practices on consumers’ daily budget and overall bottom line in order to target effective policy interventions.” Among other things, RMR has been asked to take the following immediate steps:

    • Prepare an analysis assessing housing insecurities such as mortgage foreclosures, mobile home repossessions, and landlord-tenant evictions.
    • Prepare an analysis to address pressing consumer financial barriers to racial equity in order to “inform research and rulemaking priorities,” and “[e]xplicity include in policy proposals the racial equity impact of the policy intervention.”
    • Resume data collections paused due to Covid-19, including HMDA quarterly reporting, CARD Act data collection, PACE data collection, and the previously completed 1071 data collection.
    • Focus mortgage servicing rulemaking on Covid-19 responses “to avert, to the extent possible, a foreclosure crisis” when pandemic forbearances end in March and April.
    • Explore options for preserving the status quo with respect to QM and debt collection rules. (QM rules covered by InfoBytes here and a Buckley Special Alert; debt collection rules covered by InfoBytes here and here.) 

    Uejio also noted that he “will be assessing regulatory actions taken by the previous leadership and adjusting as necessary and appropriate those not in line with [the Bureau's] consumer protection mission and mandate,” and that he wants to “preserve, where possible, maximum policy flexibility” for President Biden’s nominee once confirmed.

    Federal Issues CFPB Succession Fair Lending Covid-19 Mortgages Qualified Mortgage Data Collection / Aggregation CFPB

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  • CFPB lets QM cure provision expire

    Federal Issues

    January 10 was the sunset date for the QM Rule’s provision allowing creditors to cure loans that exceed the rule’s limitation on points and fees. For transactions consummated prior to January 10, a creditor could cure any loan exceeding the (generally 3 percent) points and fees limit by refunding to the consumer the excess amount plus interest within 210 days of consummation (assuming the borrower had not notified the creditor of the error or become 60 days past due). The cure provision was originally added by the amendments to the ATR/QM Rule published in November 2014 and was always set to expire on January 10, 2021. The new QM rulemakings issued by the CFPB in December 2020 (covered by a Buckley Special Alert) do not extend it or replace the cure provision.

    Federal Issues CFPB Ability To Repay Qualified Mortgage

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  • Special Alert: CFPB redefines Qualified Mortgage; “GSE Patch” to expire

    Federal Issues

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week released two final rules further defining what types of loans can be a “qualified mortgage loan” for purposes of the bureau’s Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule (ATR/QM Rule). The General QM Final Rule substantially revamps the general rules defining what constitutes a General QM and removes the existing debt-to-income threshold over which a loan cannot be considered a General QM.  The Seasoned QM Final Rule creates a new class of QM that allows certain rebuttable presumption QMs and non-QMs to achieve “safe harbor” QM status three years after origination provided the consumer has strong repayment history. 

    Importantly, the “GSE Patch,” which provides QM status to loans qualifying for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, expires for applications submitted before July 1, 2021, at which point the General QM Rule will take effect (although compliance with both rules is permitted 60 days after publication in the Federal Register).

    Federal Issues Special Alerts CFPB Qualified Mortgage Ability To Repay Seasoned QM GSE Patch Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Mortgages Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

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  • CFPB amends General QM loan definition, creates definition for Seasoned QMs

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On December 10, the CFPB issued two final rules related to qualified mortgage (QM) loans. The first of the two final rules, the General QM Final Rule, amends Regulation Z and revises the definition of a General QM by eliminating the General QM loan definition’s 43 percent debt-to-income ratio (DTI) limit and replacing it with bright-line price-based thresholds. The General QM Final Rule also eliminates QM status resulting solely from loans meeting qualifications for sale to Fannie or Freddie Mac (GSEs), known as the so-called “GSE Patch.” The Bureau’s second final rule, the Seasoned QM Final Rule, creates a new category of safe-harbor QMs applicable to first-lien, fixed-rate mortgages that are held in portfolio by the originating creditor or first purchaser for a 36-month period while meeting certain performance requirements, and comply with general restrictions on product features and points and fees.

    Both final rules become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The mandatory compliance date for the General QM Final Rule is July 1, 2021; however, the Bureau notes that, between the effective date and the mandatory compliance date, there will be an optional early compliance period during which creditors will be able to use either the current General QM definition or the revised General QM definition. In addition, the GSE Patch will be available only for transactions where the creditor receives the consumer’s application before July 1, 2021 (or earlier if the GSEs exit conservatorship). Further, the Seasoned QM Final Rule applies to covered transactions for which creditors receive an application on or after the effective date, but will not apply retroactively to loans already in a lender’s portfolio.

    Buckley will follow up with a more detailed summary of the final rules soon.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB GSE Patch GSE Qualified Mortgage Mortgages Ability To Repay Regulation Z

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  • CFPB extends GSE Patch

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On October 20, the CFPB issued a final rule extending the expiration of the GSE Patch until the mandatory compliance date of final amendments to the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) loan definition in order to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition away from the GSE Patch. As previously covered by a Buckley Special Alert, in June, the Bureau released two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address the January 2021 expiration of the GSE Patch for the QM Rule. The first NPRM proposed to remove the General QM loan definition’s 43 percent debt-to-income ratio (DTI) limit and replace it with a price-based threshold and the second proposed to extend the expiration of the GSE Patch.

    The final rule replaces the original expiration of the GSE Patch (January 1, 2021) until the mandatory compliance date of the final amendments to the QM loan definition. The final rule also provides that the current QM definition “will be available only for covered transactions for which the creditor receives the consumer’s application before the mandatory compliance date of final amendments to the General QM loan definition in Regulation Z.” Notably, the NPRM for the new QM loan definition proposes an effective date of six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register and the rule has not yet been published; it does not discuss a mandatory compliance date.

     

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB GSE Patch Qualified Mortgage Mortgages

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  • Special Alert: CFPB proposes new Qualified Mortgage definition for Seasoned QMs

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On August 18, the CFPB released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to create a new category of Qualified Mortgages to be called “Seasoned QMs”.  The CFPB concluded that if a loan has performed for a long enough period of time and meets certain underwriting conditions and product restrictions, it is warranted to conclusively presume that the creditor’s determination of a consumer’s ability to repay at consummation was reasonable.  The new QM category would designate the loan as a safe harbor QM, even if the loan did not meet the criteria of any of the other QM definitions at consummation.

    Under the NPRM, a loan originated as a rebuttable presumption QM or as a Non-QM loan will be granted a safe harbor presumption that it complies with the ATR requirements if it (1) meets certain product restrictions and (2) is held in portfolio during the seasoning period and meets specified performance criteria.  The product restrictions require that (1) the loan is secured by a first lien; (2) the loan has a fixed rate, with fully amortizing payments and no balloon payment; (3) the loan term does not exceed 30 years; and (4) the total points and fees do not exceed specified limits.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Mortgages Ability To Repay Qualified Mortgage Special Alerts

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  • CFPB adjusts annual dollar amount thresholds under TILA regulations

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On July 17, the CFPB released the final rule revising the dollar amounts for provisions implementing the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and amendments to TILA, including the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s ability-to-repay and qualified mortgage (ATR/QM) provisions. The CFPB is required to make annual adjustments to dollar amounts in certain provisions in Regulation Z, and has based the adjustments on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index in effect on June 1, 2020. The following thresholds will be effective on January 1, 2021:

    • For open-end consumer credit plans under TILA, the threshold for disclosing an interest charge will remain unchanged at $1.00;
    • For open-end consumer credit plans under the CARD Act, the adjusted dollar amount for the safe harbor for a first violation penalty fee will remain unchanged at $29, and the adjusted dollar amount for the safe harbor for a subsequent violation penalty fee will also remain unchanged at $40;
    • For HOEPA loans, the adjusted total loan amount threshold for high-cost mortgages will be $22,052, and the adjusted points and fees dollar trigger for high-cost mortgages will be $1,103; and
    • The maximum thresholds for total points and fees for qualified mortgages under the ATR/QM rule will be: (i) three percent of the total loan amount for loans greater than or equal to $110,260; (ii) $3,308 for loan amounts greater than or equal to $66,156 but less than $110,260; (iii) five percent of the total loan amount for loans greater than or equal to $22,052 but less than $66,156; (iv) $1,103 for loan amounts greater than or equal to $13,783 but less than $22,052; and (v) eight percent of the total loan amount for loan amounts less than $13,783.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB TILA Regulation Z CARD Act Credit Cards HOEPA Qualified Mortgage Dodd-Frank

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  • Special Alert: CFPB proposes changes to qualified mortgage definition; delays expiration of “GSE patch” until final rule becomes effective

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On June 22, the CFPB released two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address the January 2021 expiration of the so-called GSE Patch for the Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule. The GSE Patch provided QM status to mortgage loans eligible for purchase by either of the GSEs even if the loans did not otherwise meet the criteria for a QM under the “General QM” standard provided they comply with the same loan-feature prohibitions and points-and-fees limits as General QM loans. Notably, the GSE Patch allows loans to exceed the 43 percent debt-to-income ratio limit required under the General QM standard and also does not require creditors to use Appendix Q to Regulation Z to calculate the consumer’s income and debt. 

    In the first NPRM, the Bureau proposes to remove the General QM loan definition’s 43 percent DTI limit and replace it with a price-based threshold. In the second NPRM, the Bureau proposes to delay the expiration of the GSE Patch until the effective date of final amendments to the General QM definition in order to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition away from the GSE Patch definition of a Qualified Mortgage.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Qualified Mortgage GSE Mortgages Special Alerts

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