Will bankers get easier mortgage insurance rules?

Plans could make borrowing less affordable

Bankers joined loan guarantors in pushing the Federal Housing Finance Agency to ease proposed capital rules for mortgage insurers, an article in Businessweek said. The article noted the plan will make borrowing less affordable for homeowners unless it’s revised.   

The Mortgage Bankers Association and MGIC Investment suggested changes to rules tied to premiums and the amount of funds required to be held. The firms didn’t call for a wholesale rewrite of the proposed Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements, or PMIERs, for firms that do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“The PMIERs could lead to notable increases in mortgage insurance premiums,” the bankers group said in a letter to the regulator. “FHFA should ensure that the PMIERs are implemented in a way that results in little to no increase in the total cost borne by borrowers.”

The article also includes the opinion of the National Association of Realtors:

NAR said it was concerned that the FHFA proposal could make it more difficult for first-time buyers to afford a home by raising the cost of insurance. In a letter today, the group said the FHFA should monitor the effects of rule changes on the housing market.

Back in July, the FHFA announced it is seeking input on drafting new requirements that would apply to private mortgage insurance companies that insure mortgage loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, opening up for comment until Sept. 8, Monday.   

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