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CFPB Wants New Mortgage Origination Rules on Points, Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wednesday that it will be making new rules for all mortgage originators. The rules target the point-fee structure mortgage originators use and set certain qualification and screening standards for bank and non-bank originators.

“Mortgages today often come with so many different types of fees and points that it can be hard to compare offers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a press release. “We want to bring greater transparency to the market so consumers can clearly see their options and choose the loan that is right for them.”

The new rules under consideration, which the agency anticipates will be proposed this summer and made final in the beginning days of 2013, specify a required an interest rate deduction when consumers elect to pay discount points; require lenders to offer consumers a no-discount-point option; and ban origination charges that vary with the size of the loan.

Additionally, the CFPB indicates that there will be requirements and screenings for all loan originators, bank and non-bank. Those include character and fitness requirements, criminal background checks and training requirements.

The CFPB also announced that it will likely reaffirm the Federal Reserve Board’s prohibition of steering incentives paid to loan originators. Under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB was required to issue similar rules.

In recent weeks, the agency has reiterated its mission to regulating mortgage markets and leveling the playing field for lenders and borrowers. Currently the agency is conducting a reverse mortgage-specific study under a July 21 deadline.

View an overview of the new rules being considered.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker