The legislation proposes an adjustment to the definition of points and fees in the Truth in Lending Act under the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM
) rule. A similar bill was passed in the previous Congress with a greater than two-thirds vote.
The NAR said in its letter that the bill will enhance competition in the mortgage and title insurance markets, as current rules put smaller firms at a disadvantage. The QM rule limits the fees and points of a mortgage to 3% of the loan amount for the mortgage to qualify as a QM and receive safe-harbor protections. The NAR said this discriminates against mortgage bankers and title companies affiliated with real estate brokerages because they are required to count more items towards fees and points than large retail institutions.
Additionally, the NAR said that the legislation will not give title insurance and other affiliates a special advantage because the companies will remain subject to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other consumer protection laws.
HR 1153 is bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), and David Joyce (R-Ohio).
House makes decision on points and fees bill
NAR urges Congress to loosen mortgage regulations
In a letter to Congress, the National Association of Realtors called for support to pass HR 1153, or The Mortgage Choice Act.