No review of mortgage lending reforms?

The President yesterday signaled he is in inclined to slam the door shut on even sensible reforms of the Dodd-Frank mandated mortgage reforms. It looks like we will have to wait for the next President to make legislative adjustments to mortgage reforms.

HR 1210 introduced by Congressman Barr would extend Qualified Mortgage protections to any creditor who holds a mortgage in portfolio. Currently, QM protections are given to institutions with $2 billion or less in assets that originate 500 or fewer mortgages a year and hold the loans in portfolio for at least three years. The precise protections afforded QM loans will be determined by the courts but the basic idea is that if a creditor demonstrates that a loan is a QM loan, then it is protected against lawsuits.

In his statement threatening to veto the bill, President Obama asserts that the bill would “undermine critical consumer protections by exempting all depository financial institutions, large and small, from QM standards.” True enough, institutions would, for example, be able to extend loans to borrowers without worrying about debt-to-income ratios. In other words, larger institutions would find it easier to make the type of loans that got us into this mess in the first place.

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