Softened Mortgage Rule Advances

June 11, 2014
Wall Street Journal 
mortgage lending news
The Securities and Exchange Commission has relaxed its position on a Dodd-Frank mortgage rule, paving the way for the standard to win approval and be finalized in coming months.

The rule, intended to tighten underwriting so that problems tied to the 2008 financial meltdown would not be repeated, has been loosened since first being proposed three years ago. The SEC balked at the changes -- particularly the elimination of a 20 percent down payment requirement in order to earn the label of "qualified residential mortgage," even though other regulators agreed that any down payment stipulation would hurt access to credit and block homeownership for many Americans.

The SEC is now backing away from its objections, based on an expected pledge from federal policymakers to re-evaluate -- and readjust, if necessary -- the rule two years after it takes effect and every five years thereafter.









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