Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 30, 2013

Reiss on New Mortgage Regime

By David Reiss quoted me in a story, CFPB Rules Reiterate Current and Future Lending Practices. It reads in part,

David Reiss, professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School, said there could be other long-term effects due to this high DTI ratio since the lending rules will likely remain for several decades.

If the rules remain intact, the high DTI number can still be lowered at a later time. For instance, if few defaults occur when the bar is set at 43 percent, the limit might increase. Conversely, if a large number of defaults occur, the limit will decrease even further.

Reiss hopes that the agencies overseeing the rule will make these changes based on empirical evidence.

“I’m hopeful that regulation in this area will be numbers driven,” he said.

Despite the wording, Bill Parker, senior loan officer at Gencor Mortgage, said that lenders are technically “not required to ensure borrowers can repay their loans.” He said lenders are legally required to make a “good faith effort” for reviewing documents and facts about the borrower and indicating if he or she can repay the debt.

“If they do so, following the directives of the CFPB, then they are protected against suit by said borrower in the future,” Parker said. “If they can’t prove they investigated as required, then they lose the Safe Harbor and have to prove the borrower has not suffered harm because of this.”

The statute of limitations for the CFPB law is three years from the start of loan payments. After that time period, the lender is no longer required to provide evidence of loan compliance.

Even though the amendment could impact the current lending market, experts told that the CFPB’s standards will make a greater impact on the future of the housing industry.

Reiss believes that the stricter rules will create a sustainable lending market.

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