The COVID-19 pandemic has left almost 3 million American homeowners behind on their mortgages. Black and Hispanic communities, in particular, have still not recovered from the impact of the Great Recession and bear the heaviest burden of job losses under COVID-19. With so much economic hardship and uncertainty, the CFPB must do all we can to protect homeowners and promote stability in the housing market.
Late last year, we issued two rules with potentially major impacts on the housing market. These rules, the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) Final Rule and the Seasoned QM Final Rule, are part of the CFPB’s work to protect homeowners from debt traps. Both final rules have effective dates of March 1, 2021. However, to ensure consumers have the options they need during the pandemic and the financial crisis it has caused, as well as to provide maximum flexibility to the market, we that we expect to propose a rule to delay the General QM Final Rule’s July 1, 2021 mandatory compliance date. An extension of the compliance deadline would allow lenders more time in which they could make QM loans based on a debt-to-income ratio or whether the loans are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and not just a pricing cut off.
We are also considering whether to revisit the Seasoned QM Final Rule through rulemaking. If we do so, we would consider whether any potential final rule amending or revoking the Seasoned QM Final Rule should apply to transactions where an application was received during the period from March 1, 2021 until the effective date of that final rule.
We are laser-focused on our mission to protect consumers, especially those facing hardship due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. We know that having a home is an essential part of growing strong, healthy communities in every zip code. To support that vision, the Bureau will continue our work, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, to ensure access to responsible, affordable mortgage loans and fair, transparent, and competitive markets for all consumers.