Sept 16 - The Independent Community Bankers of America has released this statement following the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s release of finalized amendments and clarifications to the comprehensive mortgage rules it released in January.
“The CFPB has taken important measures to minimize the negative impact of new mortgage regulations on borrowers and the community banks that serve them. However, additional changes to the final rules will help ensure that excessive regulatory burdens do not harm borrowers and the mortgage-lending system by driving community banks from the market.
“ICBA supports the CFPB’s accommodations for balloon-payment mortgage loans but believes all community bank balloon mortgage loans should be considered qualified mortgages if they are held in portfolio, or at least the definition of ‘rural’ should be expanded to more accurately incorporate community banks that serve rural communities. Community banks provide balloon mortgage loans as a service so their customers can receive financing even if they have atypical property or financial situations. Curtailing community banks’ ability to serve these customers would only harm underserved communities and our housing recovery.
“The bureau’s updated rules will also make it easier for certain small lenders to qualify for an exemption from a requirement to maintain escrow accounts on higher-priced mortgage loans. However, ICBA continues to advocate that the CFPB exempt all portfolio loans from the escrow requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans because community banks retain a vested interest in the loans they hold in portfolio.
“ICBA looks forward to continuing to work with the CFPB to ensure its mortgage regulations do not inhibit the community banking industry from meeting the mortgage credit needs of customers and communities throughout the nation.”