My mortgage lender told me it was exempt from the ability-to-repay mortgage rule. Is this true?

Answer:

It could be. A few special types of lenders are exempt from the ability-to-repay rule.

Lenders and programs that may not have to follow the ability-to-repay rules are:

  • Community Development Financial Institutions. These groups are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide credit and financial services to underserved populations. The Department of the Treasury has a website for more information on Community Development Financial Institutions.
  • Community Housing Development Organizations or Downpayment Assistance Providers of Secondary Financing. These are non-profit service groups that receive aid from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help provide affordable housing in their communities. Visit HUD’s website to learn more about affordable housing programs.
  • Nonprofit organizations that lend less than 200 times a year and provide credit only to low- or moderate-income consumers. These groups have to follow their own written procedures to determine that consumers have a reasonable ability to repay their loans.
  • Housing Finance Agencies, which are state agencies that offer a certain amount of mortgages with low rates for low- and moderate-income borrowers. To find your state’s Housing Finance Agency, check this directory.
  • Loans made through programs under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. These programs help those communities hardest hit by the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. For more information on these programs, visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.

If you have a problem with your mortgage, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).

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