Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Committee Passes 3% Cap Bill

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 3211, "The Mortgage Choice Act" by voice vote.   H.R. 3211 reduces discrimination against affiliate mortgage lenders in the calculation of fees and points under the 3% cap in the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule.  the Mortgage Choice Act’s original sponsors include Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), David Scott (D-GA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), and Betty McCollum (D-MN). Since the QM rule went into effect in January, this discrimination has already reduced consumer choice and forced many consumers to use third party service providers against their wishes. 

In a number of cases those providers have proven more costly or provided less robust services according to reports.  H.R. 3211 reinstates a consumer's ability to choose to use in house providers and is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives later in the Spring.  Companion legislation, S. 1577 sponsored by Senators Manchin (D-WV), Levin (D-MI), Stabenow (D-MI), Johanns (R-NE), Kirk (R-IL) and Toomey (R-PA) is being worked on in the Senate as well.