On May 9, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it may roll out new rules governing mortgage lending fees -- including one requiring lenders to charge flat origination fees, which borrowers pay as compensation to loan officers. The fees currently are calculated as a percentage of the loan size, but the CFPB hopes that a flat charge will deter loan officers from pushing borrowers into more expensive loans in order to trigger greater compensation for themselves. Another possible rule would restrict the amount by which borrowers can lower their interest rate through purchasing "discount points." The agency is not trying to end the practice but does want to ensure that borrowers who take this option actually see a meaningful reduction in their monthly mortgage obligation. The new rules, which would implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, could be proposed this summer for targeted implementation in early 2013.
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