May 07, 2014

Panel clears NAFCU-sought 'Mortgage Choice Act'

May 8, 2014 – A NAFCU-backed bill clarifying the definition of points and fees under the Truth in Lending Act and applied in CFPB's qualified mortgage rule was passed by the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday by a voice vote and awaits House action.

H.R. 3211, the "Mortgage Choice Act," introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., would adjust the Truth in Lending Act mortgage rules by exempting from the qualified mortgage cap on points and fees any affiliated title charges and escrow charges for taxes and insurance.

"We thank the committee for approving this bipartisan legislation, which would ensure greater consumer choice in the mortgage market," said Brad Thaler, NAFCU's vice president of legislative affairs. "Making these important exclusions from the cap on points and fees will go a long way toward ensuring that many loans attain qualified mortgage status and credit unions' ability to keep providing them. We look forward to working with Chairman Hensarling, the bill's sponsors and members of the House to press for floor consideration of this important relief measure."

Other measures discussed by the committee, and slated for voting after the May 12 week-long recess, include:

  • H.R. 2673, the "Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act," introduced by Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., to automatically qualify residential mortgage loans held in portfolio by originators for the qualified mortgage safe harbor.
  • H.R.4521, the "Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act," from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., to exempt credit unions under $10 billion in assets from a Dodd-Frank Act requirement that mortgage lenders hold escrow accounts for five years for higher priced, first-lien mortgages. It would also ease rules for servicers that annually service 20,000 or fewer mortgages.
  • H.R. 4466, the "Financial Regulatory Clarity Act," introduced by Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., to require regulators to review whether new proposals are duplicative or inconsistent with existing rules.

Thaler wrote committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ahead of Wednesday's mark-up. He said the mark-up was "a positive step forward" toward achieving the kind of relief sought in NAFCU's five-point plan for credit union regulatory relief.