The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued two final rules related to qualified mortgage (QM) loans. The first final rule, the General QM Final Rule, replaces the current requirement for General QM loans that the consumer’s debt-to-income ratio (DTI) not exceed 43 percent with a limit based on the loan’s pricing. In the second final rule issued today, the Bureau creates a new category for QMs, Seasoned QMs.
Under the General QM Final Rule, a loan receives a conclusive presumption that the consumer had the ability to repay if the annual percentage rate does not exceed the average prime offer rate for a comparable transaction by 1.5 percentage points or more as of the date the interest rate is set. A loan receives a rebuttable presumption that the consumer had the ability to repay if the annual percentage rate exceeds the average prime offer rate for a comparable transaction by 1.5 percentage points or more but by less than 2.25 percentage points. In addition, the General QM Final Rule:
- Provides higher pricing thresholds for loans with smaller loan amounts, for certain manufactured housing loans, and for subordinate-lien transactions.
- Retains the General QM loan definition’s existing product-feature and underwriting requirements and limits on points and fees.
- Requires lenders to consider a consumer’s DTI ratio or residual income, income or assets other than the value of the dwelling, and debts and removes appendix Q and provides more flexible options for creditors to verify the consumer’s income or assets other than the value of the dwelling and the consumer’s debts for QM loans.
The Seasoned QM Final Rule creates a new category of Seasoned QMs for first-lien, fixed-rate covered transactions that have met certain performance requirements, are held in portfolio by the originating creditor or first purchaser for a 36-month period, comply with general restrictions on product features and points and fees, and meet certain underwriting requirements. To be eligible to become a Seasoned QM, a loan must be a first-lien, fixed-rate loan with no balloon payments and must meet certain other product restrictions. As under the General QM Final Rule, the creditor must also consider the consumer’s DTI ratio or residual income, income or assets other than the value of the dwelling, and debts and verify the consumer’s income or assets other than the value of the dwelling and the consumer’s debts. The loan can have no more than two delinquencies of 30 or more days and no delinquencies of 60 or more days at the end of the seasoning period. The creditor or first purchaser also generally must hold the loan in portfolio until the end of the seasoning period.
These final rules will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The General QM Final Rule will have a mandatory compliance date of July 1, 2021. Between the General QM Final Rule’s effective date and mandatory compliance date, there will be an optional early compliance period during which creditors will be able to use either the current General QM definition or the revised General QM definition. The Seasoned QM Final Rule will apply to covered transactions for which creditors receive an application on or after the effective date.
- PUBLICATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE UPDATE: These rules were published at 85 FR 86308 (General Qualified Loan Definition) and 85 FR 86402 (Seasoned Qualified Mortgage Loan Definition) on December 29, 2020. Both rules become effective March 1, 2021.