The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may release final mortgage rules within the next few weeks, requiring lenders to underwrite loans that satisfy the "qualified mortgage" and ability-to-repay rules. Kelly Cochran -- the agency's assistant director for regulations -- has helped develop mortgage rules that address servicing, disclosures, loan originator compensation, high-cost mortgages, and appraisals. In the future, the agency may consolidate the mortgage disclosures for the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate in Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), expected to be released later this year. In addition to issuing mortgage rules, the CFPB has sought data in other key consumer financial services markets to better understand the challenges and risks facing consumers. In the TILA/RESPA consolidation, it is preparing to perform quantitative testing of the forms with a diverse group of 850 consumers in several different U.S. regions. When asked about exemptions for smaller institutions and rural counties, Cochran said the CFPB received "extensive comment" about possibly negative impacts of the ability-to-repay rule on small creditors and believed that the issues required further exploration.
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