Last month both houses of Congress passed, and President Trump signed into Law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, (the Act). This new law has many provisions, as it primarily seeks to “roll back” earlier laws and regulations that have not proven to add value to consumers. AHA isn’t anti-regulation or pro regulation. AHA is for regulation that provides a true benefit to the consumer, taxpayer or most importantly, existing and aspiring homeowners. There are two provisions of particular importance to prospective homeowners in the Bill signed into law by the President. The first removes the additional data reporting requirement for smaller banks (that do fewer than 500 mortgage loans/year) that was a requirement of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). While some consumer groups fear that not requiring this data will impede fair housing enforcement, proponents expect that these effects will be negligible and that the reduction in this regulatory requirement for about 80% of the banks will have a favorable impact on the cost of home financing for borrowers.
Even more importantly, in Section 310 the Act requires that the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expand the usage of alternative credit scoring models:
“The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) must, by regulation, establish standards and criteria for processes used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to validate and approve credit-scoring models in accordance with the bill.”
This is a win for prospective homeowners because use of these modern alternative credit scoring models is expected to deliver a credit score to millions of Americans who do not have a credit score today. Additionally, of those new credit score recipients, many would be eligible for home financing in the very near future. AHA will continue to follow the progress on this as the FHFA develops the guidelines and Fannie Mae and Freddie implement them.
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