Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria told HousingWire this week that he supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s move to kill the Qualified Mortgage patch.
“My view ultimately is that Fannie and Freddie should play by the same set of rules as everybody else,” Calabria told HousingWire in an exclusive interview. “We’re working with the CFPB, my hope is that we can have the patch expire and that we fix the underlying QM.”
A rule that allows government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sidestep stricter mortgage underwriting requirements is set to expire in 2021, and while that may seem like a ways away, its pending removal has sparked widespread debate throughout the industry.
Known as the QM patch, the rule exempts GSE-backed loans from abiding by the full scope of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule, which requires lenders to adequately verify a borrower’s ability to repay their mortgage in the underwriting process.
Calabria told HousingWire Magazine in a recent exclusive set to be released in September that any moves made by the CFPB should include a fix to the QM rule.
“I see the patch as an implicit admission that the QM is flawed,” he said. “That suggests to me that the solution is to fix the QM, not to continue to allow exemptions from it.”
Calabria also expressed his thoughts on Twitter after the CFPB announced its intention to let the patch expire, saying this would create a more level playing field.
FHFA Dir Calabria on CFPB announcement on QM patch reform: "The QM patch should expire so that we can level the playing field, foster competition in our nation’s housing finance market, and bring us one step closer to comprehensive housing finance reform." @CFPB @CFPBDirector pic.twitter.com/GmG09of7RS— FHFA (@FHFA) July 25, 2019