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Press Releases

April 14, 2016
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today a new loan modification program that will help borrowers stay in their homes. Under the new program, loan modifications will be available to as many as 30,000 qualified underwater borrowers facing financial hardship with loans now held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Eligibility also requires that the mortgages have an unpaid principal balance of not more than $250,000 and delinquency of 90 days or longer as of March 1 of this year. Homes must be owner-occupied. Additionally, FHFA will require third party buyers of Fannie and Freddie’...
April 5, 2016
Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs convened a hearing to assess the effects of Consumer Finance Regulation. Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) offered comments for the committee's record and issued the following statement. In a display of legislative wisdom, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with its enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The two were necessary remedies to heal the financial wounds wrought by 8.2 million families who lost their homes to...
March 15, 2016
Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued new rules to update the certification process for loans backed by the agency. All lenders making FHA-backed loans must certify that each loan has complied with the appropriate rules that serve to protect both consumers and taxpayers. Lenders who violate the rules could face the liability of having to forfeit FHA insurance and buy back any loans they sold under false representations and pay triple damages. Lenders must also get certified to be eligible to offer FHA backed loans. Rules finalized today are for the individual loan...
November 20, 2015
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1210. The bill would exempt the nation’s largest banks from rules put in place in response to the economic crisis. Specifically, the bill would give legal protections to any bank that holds any mortgage loan in its portfolio. The bank would receive the legal protections even if it ignored certain best practice underwriting standards and charged the high fees and high interest rates associated with the predatory lending in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. In response to the vote, CRL president Mike Calhoun said:...
November 13, 2015
A key mortgage lending reform – which would be rolled back by a bill coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives next week – commands the support of an overwhelming majority of voters, according to a poll conducted this summer by Lake Research on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending. New regulations, developed in response to the reckless and deceptive lending practices that fueled the financial crisis of 2008-09, require mortgage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay before making a loan. The “Portfolio Lending and Mortgage...
September 22, 2015
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized changes to its Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. The changes, which raise the number of loans a small creditor can re-sell and expand the number of banks that can qualify as a "rural bank," are a response to feedback from lenders. CRL Policy Counsel Yana Miles issued the following statement: The CFPB's Qualified Mortgage rule changes show a continuing openness to respond to the concerns of small banks and credit unions. These rules make it easier for community lenders to make certain loans. The changes need to be carefully...
September 22, 2015
Despite a number of industry predictions, new data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report today revealed that Dodd-Frank's mortgage protections and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's related new mortgage regulations did not produce a decrease in mortgage accessibility for homebuyers. The data also show that borrowers of color and families with low-to-moderate incomes continue to be underserved in the mortgage market, especially by lenders who sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For these borrowers, access to affordable mortgages is very limited. In addition,...
September 1, 2015
The Federal Housing Administration's mutual mortgage insurance fund plays a critical role in providing access to credit so that millions of Americans—many of whom are first-time buyers, come from low- and moderate-income backgrounds, or purchase homes in communities of color—can be successful homeowners. The FHA today proposed revised language on the lender certification of loan and borrower eligibility and lender disbarment. Mike Calhoun, CRL president, commented: The housing market needs to provide consumers with affordable, well-underwritten home loans, ensure the fiscal strength...
August 19, 2015
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule setting affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). Affordable housing goals are meant to ensure that people in lower-wealth communities have access to homeownership and affordable rental housing.[1] FHFA announced that its single-family, low-income home purchase goal for 2015-2017 would be set at a conservative 24 percent, and that the dual-part market and benchmark test that determines if goals are met would remain unchanged. This allows the GSEs to meet the goal even if they fall below the target...
July 8, 2015
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today released its rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), taking definitive actions that will address "disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws." CRL executive vice president Nikitra Bailey commented: Today the Department of Housing and Urban...

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