January 14, 2014

Lawmakers ask Watt to be flexible on credit scores

Four House Financial Services Committee members on Monday asked Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt to permit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use credit scores from more than one provider in connection with mortgage lending.

In their letter, Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., James Himes, D-Conn., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said Fannie and Freddie should not be restricted to relying on credit scores provided by the Fair Isaac Corporation.

Echoing concerns raised previously by NAFCU, the lawmakers warned that the current restriction, reflected in the entities' seller/servicer guidelines, is a barrier to market entry for other providers, they wrote, and can hamper the availability of mortgage credit.

The CFPB qualified mortgage rule and the qualified residential mortgage standard set in a separate credit risk retention rule, which applies to loans purchased by Fannie and Freddie, will by extension lead to adherence to one company as a source for credit scores by lenders seeking to lending only to QM standard, the lawmakers wrote.