If the QM regulation is too narrowly defined it could threaten the burgeoning housing and economic recovery by denying creditworthy borrowers access to safe, quality loan products, said NAR's 2012 vice president and Liaison to Government Affairs Scott Louser in testimony before the U.S.
"Realtors are the leading advocate for housing issues and believe that one of the greatest issues affecting the housing market is uncertainty in the rules that govern housing finance," said Louser, broker/owner of Preferred Minot Real Estate in Minot, N.D.
In his testimony, Louser said that current underwriting standards are already tight and are contributing to the slow housing market recovery.
Louser said that a narrowly defined QM would put many of to day's loans and borrowers into the non-QM market, which means that lenders and investors would face a high risk of a steering or ability to pay violations.
"Creating a broad QM that establishes strong consumer protections, promotes mortgage liquidity, incorporates important ability-to-repay standards, and offers lenders a safe harbor that reduces litigation exposure benefits lenders, investors and consumers will help ensure the revival of the home lending market," said Louser.
Louser testified that another area of concern to Realtors and the industry is the definition of points and fees in the QM provision, which limits the total points and fees collected by lenders and their affiliates to 3 percent of the loan amount.