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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Agencies Say QM, Fair Lending Law ‘Compatible’

The Qualified Mortgage rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act are compatible, according to interagency guidance released yesterday. The FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, CFPB and NCUA issued the guidance in response to concerns expressed by ABA and others that a potential tightening of mortgage credit under QM could expose lenders to liability for violating fair lending laws according to disparate impact theory.

“The Agencies do not anticipate that a creditor's decision to offer only Qualified Mortgages would, absent other factors, elevate a supervised institution's fair lending risk,” the guidance said. The agencies noted that lenders have "legitimate business needs" to select product offerings or follow business models based on a variety of recognized factors—including credit risk, market opportunities, capital requirements and liability risk.

Read the guidance.

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