House votes to let more mortgages count as QMs

November 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (11/19/15)--The U.S. House approved a bill Wednesday that would allow credit unions and other lenders to treat mortgages held in portfolio as qualified mortgages (QM) for purposes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) mortgage lending rules. The vote was 255-174.

CUNA supports the bill, The Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 1210). CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle contacted House lawmakers earlier this week encouraging them to approve the legislation that would help reduce operational barriers for credit unions.

CUNA maintains that when a credit union is willing to hold a loan in its portfolio, thereby having “skin in the game,” there should be the presumption that the loans is as worthy as a standard QM loan even if it might not meet all of the technical requirements.

Mortgage lending, CUNA has noted in support of the bill, is a key service that credit unions provide, and enactment of H.R. 1210 would bring meaningful regulatory relief, allowing credit unions to more fully serve their members.

The measure got the endorsement of the House Financial Services Committee in July, when that panel voted 38-18 in favor of it.

Other CUNA-backed regulatory relief bills were approved by the panel at that time after a two-day markup, bills that CUNA and the state credit union leagues continue to advocate for as they await full House action.  They include:

  • The Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act (H.R. 1941). The bill creates an independent ombudsman and an independent examination appeals process, as well as examination standards for financial institutions. It passed 45-13; and,
  • The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 766). The bill prohibits a federal banking agency from suggesting, requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate either specific accounts, or otherwise restrict or discourage it from a banking relationship with a specific consumer, unless the agency has a material reason to do so that is not based solely on reputation risk. The bill passed 35-19.