Real estate

'Tighter' Mortgage Rules Continue Old Problems

No minimum downpayment or credit score

|

The rules issued Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the credit watchdog agency created by the Dodd-Frank "financial reform" law, require income verification and limits on household debt loads.

They also ban mortgages with risky features, such as interest-only payments, where the borrower doesn't make payments on the loan principal, or negative amortization, where the principal rises over time.

But the devil is in the details of the 804-page regulation, titled the "Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Standards." What's not required is any minimum down payment or credit score, which studies show are the two most important factors for predicting the ability of a borrower to pay back a home loan.

Advertisement