Despite the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau attempt to make the ability-to-repay rule flexible, members of the financial committee addressed a variety of risks that come with the qualified mortgage, including the high risk of lenders reducing lending volume based on the changes.

In a hearing with the Committee of Financial Services, Kelly Cochran, CFPB assistant director said, "As the mortgage market strengthens, the rule should provide appropriate safeguards without becoming a straightjacket."

Following this concern, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions wrote a letter to committee saying, "The ability-to-pay rule is of particular concern moving forward as the stringent requirements contained in the final rule will require credit unions to make major investments and incur significant expenses."

It stated, "Accordingly, as indicated by NAFCU member credit unions in our recent Economic and Credit Union Monitor Survey, nearly 44% of respondents said they will cease originations of non-qualified mortgages. Another 44% indicated they will reduce originations that fall outside of the QM guidelines." 

Additionally, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., mentioned that 52% of mortgages written in 2010 would not fit the qualified mortgage standards.

However, Cochran responded saying that they are trying to go back and consider how the rule will impact small lenders. We know that smaller lenders are effectively using relationships to determine lending.

Cochran explained that the rules are required to go into effect one year after the final rule is issued.

In result, she added, "We are taking them very seriously and hoping to tie them off quickly."

bswanson@housingwire.com