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The qualified mortgage (QM) rule was implemented in January of 2014. The law is intended to protect consumers by strengthening underwriting standards, but some have argued that the rules will raise costs and reduce access for consumers. This survey queries a sample of mortgage lenders about the rule’s impact on their business and how the rule could in turn impact consumers.
- When asked about the extent of the QM rule’s impact, 55% of survey respondents indicated that the QM rule would affect 2.6% to 20% of their originations
- The 3% cap on points and fees was the feature of the new rule that most concerned respondents as 60% indicated that they were “very concerned”
- A strong majority of respondents indicated that they would defer to investors preferences on how to treat non-QM loans, but 45% indicated that they would not originate non-QM mortgages
- Roughly a fifth of respondents did not know whether or not they would charge non-QM borrowers higher rates, but the most frequently cited change for prime and near-prime borrowers was an increase of 50 to 75 basis points and 150 basis points for sub-prime
- Relative to 2013, respondents indicated a high reluctance to originate mortgages with non-QM features and their aversion toward originating non-QM loans increased as credit scores declined. They also indicated an elevated reticence to originate mortgages that fit into the rebuttable presumption definition of the QM rule and even some hesitance to originate safe harbor QM mortgages.
- A significant share of respondents indicated that they would impose buffers in advance of the 43% back-end debt-to-income ratio, the 3% cap on points and fees, and the limitation on the annual percentage rate to within 150 basis points over the average prime offer for eligibility with the safe harbor definition of the QM
- In response to the new rule, the vast majority of respondents plan to increase staff and expenditures on compliance software. In addition, 11% will shutter affiliated title insurance or other companies.
- Finally, 16.7% of respondents indicated that they had already adapted to the rule, while 44.4% would be ready within three months. Nearly a third of respondents indicated that it would take three to six months before they had adapted, but all would be ready within one year.
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