CUNA joined other trade organizations this week to call on Senate leadership to ensure regulatory relief language remains in the conference committee version of the 2019 financial services and general government appropriations bill. CUNA called for the bill to retain the text of the Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 1153), a bipartisan bill that has passed the House in February and is consistent with CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation.
Specifically, H.R. 1153 would make minor adjustments to the Truth in Lending Act definition of “points and fees” to ensure greater consumer choice.
“H.R. 1153 endeavors to restore a full and open competitive market by clarifying the definition of fees and points,” the letter reads. “In doing so, the legislation will ensure consumers more choices in credit providers and settlement service options.”
The Truth in Lending Act specifies that, in order to count as a Qualified Mortgage, points and fees cannot exceed 3% of the loan amount. Under current law and rules, a “point” or “fee” can vary depending on who is making the loan and what arrangements the borrower makes for title insurance.
If the consumer chooses a provider that is affiliated with the lender, the title insurance counts as part of the 3%, but it it is purchased from an unaffiliated title agency, the charges do not count.
H.R. 1153 would also remove escrowed homeowner insurance premiums from the points and fees calculation.
The language is part of the House FSGG bill, H.R. 6258, which passed the House in July. The Senate passed its FSGG bill in August without the text of H.R. 1153, but with full allocation levels to several important credit union funds.