What's at Stake:
NAR believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption. Evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, not high down payments. Proposals that require high down payments will drive more borrowers to FHA, increase costs for borrowers by raising interest rates and fees, and effectively price many eligible borrowers out of the housing market.
A provision in the Dodd-Frank Act requires that financial institutions retain 5% of the risk on loans they securitize. The purpose is to discourage excessive risk taking and create strong incentives for responsible lending and borrowing.
Congress came up with the QRM concept to ensure that banks were only putting up ‘safe’ loans for securitization. NAR supports this goal, but in practice, regulators have come up with draconian parameters for what constitutes a QRM.
NAR feels this will not only affect buyers, but would also affect the ability of home owners to sell their homes, since there would be fewer buyers who could qualify for home ownership.
NAR wants federal regulators to honor Congressional intent by crafting a QRM exemption that includes a wide variety of traditionally safe, well underwritten products such as 30-, 15-, and 10-year fixed-rate loans; 7-1 and 5-1 ARMs; and loans with down payments in the 5% to 20% range with PMI, where required, and with other features found in low-risk loans such as no prepayment penalties or balloon payments.
According to NAR Research, 60% of recent home buyers made less than a 20% down payment, and it would take 14 years for a typical person to save up a 20% down payment to buy a median-priced home.
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Please contact Congress today and ask them to make it clear to the regulators that this proposed regulation was not their legislative intent and to instead implement a more reasonable Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) that will keep credit-worthy buyers in the market and able to acquire a loan.