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New Mortgage Rules May Mean Less Choice for Home Buyers
Les Christie / CNNMoney.com / December4, 2013
Beginning Jan. 10, banks have to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable, a result of the Dodd Frank law passed in 2010. The failure to do so carries strict penalties.
“My concern is that we’re going to be in an environment where some lenders are too small to comply,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
During the housing bubble, some banks issued loans without even checking applicants’ income or assets.
Under the new rules, lenders must carefully determine that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans. That means, for example, that the banks can’t lend to anyone whose total debt payments would exceed 43% of their income. Lenders must carefully examine and double check pay statements, bank records, tax returns and other paperwork provided by borrowers.
Banks will have to make three main changes, according to Anthony Hsieh, CEO of loanDepot, an online mortgage bank.
They will have to update their underwriting policies and procedures, change their technology and retrain staff.