Policy & Legislation
During the years that led up to the subprime mortgage crisis, Congress was notably passive in dealing with the proliferation of abuses that flourished in a reckless lending environment. The foreclosure crisis that triggered today’s economic problems underscores the need for sensible regulations and protections. Today there are many reforms being weighed and balanced in Washington and in the states. Here we help you keep abreast of proposed policies and their pros and cons.
Search Mortgage Policy & Legislation
Browse Mortgage Policy & Legislation
- Comments on Enterprise Housing Goals
July 31, 2012
The Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, and Empire Justice Center submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a proposed rule for the 2012-2014 Enterprise Housing Goals. "It is critical that FHFA continue to focus on its responsibility of ensuring that the Enterprises serve the entire housing market." The Enterprises can do this while fostering a liquid, competitive and strong housing market.
- No Credit Crunch: The CFPB and Consumer Access to Credit
July 24, 2012
Mike Calhoun, CRL President, testified that lack of regulation led to the foreclosure crisis. The Dodd-Frank reforms and CFPB are important reforms to prevent a future housing crisis, and will be good for consumers and the safety and soundness of our consumer finance system. Testimony was before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- The Impact of Dodd-Frank's Home Mortgage Reforms
July 11, 2012
CRL Senior Vice President Eric Stein emphasized the importance of defining "Qualified Mortgage" broadly to avoid shutting out creditworthy borrowers from the mortgage market. He recommended that QM include the use of specific "bright-line" standards so that lenders and borrowers are clear on which loans qualify as QMs. He also made the case for allowing borrowers to pursue legal action if an alleged QM loan failed to meet the appropriate standards from the outset. This testimony was presented before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services - Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
- Comments on Qualified Mortgages to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
July 9, 2012
The Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights responded to the CFPB's request for comments on qualified mortgages. Much of the comment letter focuses on an appropriate "bright line" debt-to-income ratio standard for QMs. Setting a narrow debt-to-income ratio for QMs would unnecessarily exclude a large share of borrowers from QM protections. This letter supports setting a baseline debt-to-income ratio on QMs while also giving lenders flexibility to go above it by considering other "compensating factors" that affect a borrower's ability to handle a loan successfully.
- Expanding, Streamlining Mortgage Refinances
June 27, 2012
The Boxer-Menendez bill to expand refinances offers a bipartisan opportunity to help homeowners and boost the economy. The bill would more than double the number of homeowners who could refinance under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and also more than double their savings, according to research by the Columbia University Business School.
- Regulatory Compliance Costs and Small Financial Institutions
May 9, 2012
CRL President Michael Calhoun testifies before a House Financial Services subcommittee on the benefits of strong lending protections. Financial reform, including the CFPB, is good for American families as well as bank safety and soundness.
- Refinancing: Helping Responsible Homeowners Save Money
April 25, 2012
Interest rates are at historic lows, but many homeowners who could benefit from these low rates have not refinanced their higher-rate mortgage. In this testimony, CRL President Michael Calhoun recommends expanding the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and boost economic recovery.
- Summary of National Mortgage Settlement
March 14, 2012
Forty-nine state attorneys generals and two government agencies have reached a $25 billion agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. Here we provide a quick-reference summary of the terms of this agreement.
- National mortgage Settlement is a game-changer
February 17, 2012
A lawsuit highlights possible foreclosure fraud, as loan servicing employees admit they don’t actually review foreclosure documents; instead they do "robo-signing.
- Comments on the Federal Housing Finance Agency Joint Initiative on Mortgage Servicing Issues
December 27, 2011
FHFA has the mandate and the opportunity to improve mortgage servicing practices. CRL recommends incentives to encourage better service by loan servicers and to promote more timely and effective loss mitigation, free of abusive and unfair practices.