Federal officials testifying Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee confirmed that the qualified residential mortgage rule won’t appear until after the qualified mortgage standards are finalized.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently delayed the arrival of the long-awaited QM rule until the end of 2012, therefore, expectations for a 2012-debut of QRM will be delayed to at least 2013.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Federal Reserve board member Daniel Tarullo, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry and Martin Gruenber, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation acting chairman, all agreed on what they said is the prudence of waiting for the CFPB to finalize the more broad QM standards to implement QRM. 

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said the agency reopened the comment period for the QM proposal until July 9 to seek comments specifically on new data and information obtained from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The proposal addresses the definition of a qualified mortgage, or a consumer’s ability-to-repay requirement for a loan secured by a home.

“We want to draft a rule based on sound debate and that does not restrict credit,” Cordray said at the hearing.

The QRM standards are also still evolving. David Stevens, departing CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said from his talks with policymakers in recent weeks that the 20% down payment requirement for home-loan lenders who wish to avoid holding added credit risk on the securitization of mortgages will likely be lowered.

The five federal regulators proposed the rule in March 2011 under the Dodd-Frank Act.

It requires a bank to maintain 5% of the credit risk for mortgages and other loans sold to the secondary market, also known as skin-in-the-game. The exception is the qualified residential mortgage, which requires at least a 20% down payment from the borrower, among other standards including a tightened debt-to-income ratio.