The Mortgage Bankers Association along with other real estate trade groups sent letters to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau addressing proposed changes to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act.

The first letter cautioned the CFPB about the risk of a significant contraction in credit availability resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act-mandated lowering of HOEPA triggers and changes to the allowable amount and definition of points and fees that can be charged.

The MBA argued for greater harmony in regulating interconnected issues, objected to the inclusion of additional finance charges without adjusting the triggers used to determine if a loan is covered by HOEPA and made clear the need for a well-thought out definition of “points and fees.”

The letter also cautioned against an overly broad definition of prepayment penalties. The joint trades voiced support for increased guidance on how to cure a good-faith defect that results in a HOEPA loan as well as the homebuyer counseling provision.

In a another letter, the MBA expressed concern with the proposed HOEPA rule’s treatment of fees paid to affiliated settlement service providers. The letter argued that including such fees in the HOEPA definition of points and fees might result in severe negative effects on the real estate finance market.

The trade groups sent a third letter concerning the bureau’s efforts to integrate disclosures required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to issue for public comment forms that combine the mortgage disclosures under TILA and those at time of application and settlement under RESPA. The CFPB extended the deadline for comments on the more inclusive finance charge to Nov. 6th, the same deadline for comments on the bulk of the rule.